Profits in Rees-Mogg’s investment firm halved in year before closure announced | Jacob Rees-Mogg

Profits at Somerset Capital Management, the investment firm co-founded by Jacob Rees-Mogg, more than halved in the year before managers announced the once-$10bn fund would be wound down.

Accounts filed at Companies House on Thursday show Somerset Capital Management’s profits in the year to 31 March 2023 dropped to £4.2m from £9.1m the previous year, and £13.5m in 2021.

The decline in profits meant there was less money to share out among the fund’s members – including Rees-Mogg, the multimillionaire Conservative MP and Brexiter. The members shared £3.1m, down from £6.4m a year earlier, and £9.7m the year before that. Rees-Mogg is understood to hold about 12% of the shares, which would value his share of last year’s profits at about £350,000.

Rees-Mogg – who when he was 12 and riding in a Rolls-Royce proudly declared his ambitions: “I’ve always wanted to be rich” – is reported to have received at least £7.5m in dividends from Somerset since the EU referendum in 2016.

He also received about £15,000 a month from the firm on top of his MP’s pay until 2019, when he became a minister under Boris Johnson.

Somerset announced in December 2023 that it was winding down after it lost two-thirds of its assets and its largest client. St James’s Place, the UK’s largest wealth manager, ended its relationship with the firm and shifted a £2bn mandate to another fund manager. The shock move left Somerset with $1bn (£796m) in assets, down from a peak of $10bn in 2018.

Rees-Mogg and his fellow shareholders had been in line for a huge windfall from their investment several times as Somerset flirted with a succession of deals. The firm was valued at between £70m and £100m in 2018 when it entered inconclusive merger talks with an unnamed US firm. It rejected a bid of up to £90m from London’s Artemis Investment Management the following year.

The MP has remained a passive minority shareholder since stepping back from advising on investment strategy and the daily running of the business.

Somerset’s accounts said 2023 profits were lower because revenue dropped 29.5% to £16.6m, with lower management fees as a result of “a fall in the assets under management during the period”. The accounts warned that members “expect the profitability of the [firm] to decrease” further as a result of more “client flows” of money out of the partnership.

The accounts also said “the strengthening of the British pound would have a negative impact on profitability” as a significant proportion of its revenues were in overseas currencies.

The company did not respond to requests for further comment on the fund’s performance, or Rees-Mogg’s share of the profits.

Rees-Mogg’s net worth was estimated at “well over £100m”, by Spear’s wealth management magazine in 2019. That figure also accounted for the expected inheritance of his wife, Lady Helena de Chair, whose mother was said to have a £45m fortune.

His assets include a £5m house behind Westminster Abbey and the freehold of a building in Pall Mall, reported to be worth £4m. When in Somerset he and his family live at Gournay Court, a 17th-century house that was restored and enlarged by King George V. A household presence is his former nanny, Veronica Crook, now nanny to his children.

A vintage cars enthusiast, Rees-Mogg also owns a 1968 T-Series Bentley, a 1936 3.5litre Bentley and a Lexus for driving around town.

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