Nice little earner: Billionaire to pocket £45m in investment firm dividends

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The Independent Online

Billionaire financier Mark Coombs is expected to bag a £45m dividend when the investment management firm Ashmore announces its full-year results on Tuesday. City analysts are predicting that the firm will pay a dividend of 14.75p a share up from 14.5p a year ago.

Mr Coombs, who led a management buyout of Ashmore from Australia's ANZ bank in 1999, owns 42 per cent of the shares in the firm which specialises in emerging market investment. In 2011, Mr Coombs received a windfall of £43.3m, taking his estimated personal wealth to more than £1.25bn, making him the 53rd richest person in Britain.

But recent news from Ashmore has not been so good, reflecting a dip in sentiment toward emerging market investment. Sheridan Admans of the retail stockbroker, The Share Centre, said: "The market has been increasingly concerned over pressure on [Ashmore's] operating margins and earnings growth, along with the recent performance of emerging markets."

Analysts at the stockbroker Peel Hunt said in a note that it was downgrading its forecasts for Ashmore's 2012 earnings by 7 per cent. Longer term, though, Ashmore is hoping to attract more clients from the emerging middle classes in the developing world, which currently account for just 20 per cent of assets under its management.

Last week, Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown, who founded FTSE 100 financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, scooped a combined £56m full-year dividend.

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