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Six firms that could be in the frame to buy Swip
on Oct 03, 2013 at 14:39
We reveal the runners and riders who could be tempted to snap up Swip from Lloyds.
With reports that Lloyds could be on course to complete the sale of its fund management arm, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip), within a matter of weeks, we look at the main runners and riders that could be in the frame.
Swip, which manages around £142 billion, is understood to have been on the market since April after it appointed Deutsche Bank to assist the sale. The firm restructured the business last year, which involved closing down a number of its regional equity desks, replacing them with a single global equity desk and focusing more on quantitative strategies. The business has also seen several key departures over the past few years, including Philip Gibb’s now successor James Clunie and Daniel McKernan, head of UK and European credit, amongst the most recent.
Aberdeen Asset Management
Led by well-known deal maker Martin Gilbert (pictured), reports have suggested that Aberdeen Asset Management could be in the running to hoover up yet another competitor in the UK fund management sector. Previous deals include the acquisitions of Artio Global Investors, a US-based asset manager, alongside a 50.1% stake in private equity firm SVGA (both in February of this year), RBS’s asset management arm back in 2010 and Credit Suisse’s fund business back in 2008.
Henderson Global Investors
Henderson, led by Andrew Formica (pictured), has also made its name as one of the more acquisitive fund groups over the past few years, after buying Gartmore back in 2011 and New Star in 2009. The firm has worked hard over the past few years to streamline its fund range following the integration of both firms, so the prospect of further rationalisations could prove a negative. However, as a company with a broad fund offering and scale, it could absorb Swip’s assets.
Threadneedle owner Ameriprise Financial has also been suggested as a potential bidder for the Swip business. Back in April, the Sunday Times reported that the firm was lining up an £800 million bid for Swip. Threadneedle, led by incoming chief executive Campbell Fleming (pictured), bought LV=’s fund business back in 2011. A Swip deal would allow the firm to expand the multi-manager offering that it acquired in the LV= deal.
Schroders, led by Michael Dobson, is another UK fund group that has shown itself to be acquisitive in recent times. It would follow its recent purchase of Cazenove Capital Management. Schroders is sitting on a cash pile of around £3 billion in cash and equivalents.
Natixis Global Asset Management
The French asset management firm has been reported as another potential name in the frame. It runs some €602 billion in assets and could theoretically gain a stronger foothold in the UK if it were to buy the Swip business.
Australia’s largest investment bank Macquarie has also been named as another party in the running to buy the fund management business from Lloyds, according to Bloomberg. It is understood that an offer for Swip could also be linked to another bid for Lloyds’s Australian assets.