Somerset Sale Windfall for Business Secretary Jacob Rees-mogg

The asset management firm set up by Jacob Rees-Mogg is exploring a sell-off that could net millions for the new Business Secretary.

Somerset Capital, which manages about £4.4billion, could merge with another money manager. Chief executive Dominic Johnson is preparing to step down ahead of a potential move into politics.

Johnson, a former Conservative party vice-chairman, co-founded Somerset with Rees-Mogg 15 years ago.

Payout: Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg founded Somerset Capital, which manages about £4.4bn, with former Conservative party vice-chairman Dominic Johnson

The Business Secretary still owns a stake in the low to mid-teens and receives dividends, while Johnson has around 15 per cent.

Somerset’s own value has suffered in recent years, with profits falling thanks to a sell-off in emerging markets and a general global market downturn.

Its profits were down 34 per cent to £9.7million during the 12 months to March 2021, while turnover slumped by 20 per cent.

But analysts believe it could still fetch as much as £70million. It is understood one potential buyer is Emso Asset Management, which also specialises in emerging markets.

Rees-Mogg has had limited input in recent years, having resigned from his advisory role at Somerset in 2019 when he was appointed to the Cabinet.