Mason Stevens merges with 2020

Mason Stevens has merged with 2020 Funds Management and 2020 DIRECTINVEST with the combined entity to operate as Mason Stevens Group, with the merger effectively completed on Friday 2 March.

The product capabilities will combine under the banner of One Capital Asset Management and will be headed by 2020's Vincent Hua, in his new role as Mason Stevens Group chief investment officer.

It will include equities, derivatives, fixed income, foreign exchange and commodities offerings, the group announced.

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Patrick Handley from 2020 will be group executive chairman and Thomas Bignill from Mason Stevens will be chief executive of the merged entity.

Bignill said the merger was aimed at improving the product offerings and increasing the scale and distribution capability of the group.

A key distribution advantage was being able to deliver managed accounts into direct trading option 2020 DIRECTINVEST, which has traditionally only offered managed funds.

"We're a believer in the managed account space and how that will grow in the next five to 10 years, [and it is] getting real traction with planners," he said.

A big part of the appeal was the complementary skills the two parties brought to the table, Bignill said, pointing to Hua's background running big trading books at commercial and investment banks, and his team's strong credit background.

Handley would do a terrific job as chair, given his background in banking and wealth management, Bignill added.

The group is experiencing increased traction from financial planning dealer groups who are attracted to the completeness of the group's offering delivered through a managed account structure, Bignill said.

The vast majority of Masons Stevens Group's financial planning partners are boutiques rather than larger dealer groups because the product offering is held in-house rather than sitting on a wrap - which often doesn't fit with the way larger groups do business, Bignill said.

The group also interacts directly with high net worth clients where the financial planner refers clients to talk to the group as a specialist dealing in fixed income or equities, he said.




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