September 2, 2017 / 9:02 PM / 3 months ago

Old Mutual Wealth splits funds unit into two

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The wealth management business of Anglo-South African insurer and financial services group Old Mutual has split its fund management business into two and is also considering a spin-off of one of the units, led by veteran British fund manager Richard Buxton.

Old Mutual is already in the process of an ambitious break-up that will see it split into four separate companies, of which Old Mutual Wealth will be one.

But OM Wealth said in a statement on Saturday that there was also now an “opportunity” for both its multi-asset and single strategy fund management arms to “develop as separate and distinct businesses”.

Old Mutual Global Investors, which is currently led by Buxton, will focus on the single-strategy business while Paul Simpson has been appointed chief executive of the multi-asset arm, which has 16 billion pounds ($21 billion) of assets under management.

OM Wealth said it will now work with the management of Old Mutual Global Investors to examine “internal and external structures for the single-strategy business to continue to develop it further.”

A source familiar with matter said that options for the unit led by Buxton include a management buyout or an acquisition by a trade buyer.

Sky News earlier said on Saturday that Buxton, one of Britain’s leading fund managers, has been approached by investors including private equity firm TA Associates about a buyout deal.

Old Mutual declined to comment on the report, while Buxton did not return emails requesting comment and no one at TA Associates could immediately be reached for comment. ($1 = 0.7720 pounds) (Reporting by Ben Martin; Editing by Simon Jessop, Greg Mahlich)

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