The Old Mutual funds business operated by Richard Buxton is at the centre of a £550 million bid battle between two Australian financial giants.
According to Sky News, Challenger and Macquarie Investment Management are among a small number of bidders for Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI), which runs some £25 billion worth of assets.
Others names reported to be keen include former Jupiter private equity backer TA Associates. Fellow private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and CVC Capital Partners have also been heavily linked with bids.
Old Mutual, which has hired Goldman Sachs to advise on the sale, set a deadline of 29 September for interested parties to submit their bids. The sale is expected to complete before the year is out.
Buxton (pictured) stunned the City in 2013 when he quit a top job at Schroders to join Old Mutual.
In August 2015 he replaced Julian Ide as chief executive of OMGI following a restructure at the group.
Last month the company announced the split its fund management business into two.
Buxton was put in charge of the single strategy arm while Paul Simpson was made responsible for the multi-asset business, which has £16 billion in AUM.