Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg attends the launch of Boris Johnson's campaign to become leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and Prime Minister at the Sky Loft, Millbank Tower, Westminster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 12, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Tories. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Jacob Rees-Mogg co-founded Somerset Capital in 2007 © PA

Jacob Rees-Mogg has stepped down from the day-to-day running of his investment company after joining the cabinet under new UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

Under the ministerial code, Mr Rees-Mogg has had to resign from his advisory role at Somerset Capital, the emerging markets boutique he co-founded.

On Wednesday he was appointed leader of the Commons in Mr Johnson’s radical shake-up of the cabinet, which met for the first time on Thursday. The leader organises government business and works closely with the chief whip.

Mr Rees-Mogg is a leading Brexit campaigner and his business made headlines last year when it launched an Irish-domiciled version of its flagship fund and also warned clients about the risk of the UK’s departure from the EU.

He set up Somerset with Dominic Johnson and Edward Robertson in 2007. He will remain a partner but will no longer be involved in the management of the company. His stake of between 15 and 20% will be placed into a blind trust while he is a minister.

Somerset said in a statement that Mr Rees-Mogg had stepped back in 2010 to being an adviser to the company when he became an MP. “We wish him well as he now steps down immediately from his part-time role in accordance with the ministerial code,” said Oliver Crawley, a partner at Somerset.

Last year Mr Rees-Mogg and his fellow partners shared £25m of profit from Somerset, and he received a £187,900 salary from the company.

In an interview with FTfm this month, Mr Johnson described the MP as “great for the business”, adding “we have a far higher profile than we ever would if we didn’t have him involved.”

He said: “I try to separate what he stands for as a person from his politics.

“I think he is perceived as . . . a man of huge integrity, huge honesty and a thoroughly decent, fair and courteous person. That’s what people,
whoever they are and whatever they think of his views, say.

“Those values are very reflective of Somerset and I’m proud of that.” 

Somerset, which has offices in London and Singapore, oversees $7bn.

Up to half the group’s assets are managed on behalf of large North American institutional investors, including the Superannuation Fund for the Province of Manitoba in Canada and the State Board of Administration of Florida.

Somerset launched a second Irish fund last year that focused on frontier markets.

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