Old Mutual Wealth launches new multi-asset biz as 2018 'managed separation' nears

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Old Mutual Wealth is creating a new multi-asset business, that will sit as a separate investment entity from its current investment arm Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI).

The South African-backed financial giant said in a statement announcing the launch, that it was making the changes as it prepares for its managed separation from Old Mutual plc in 2018.

While there will be no change to any of the investment management teams or product ranges, OMGI investment director Paul Simpson, has been appointed as chief executive of the new business and a member of the Old Mutual Wealth Executive Committee (subject to regulatory approval).

Simpson was appointed investment director in January 2015 and is chair of OMGI’s Investment Director’s Committee. He also sits on the boards of Old Mutual’s’ UK, Irish and Cayman investment funds. He is also a member of Old Mutual Global Investors’ Executive Committee.

Single strategy portfolio range

Old Mutual Global Investors will focus on its single strategy portfolio range and will continue to grow the franchise separately under the leadership of Richard Buxton as chief executive.

Rumours of a potential Buxton-led management buy-out continue to circulate according to various reports and, would, perhaps, be easier to implement following the separation, although no comment has been made on the speculation.

Instead Old Mutual Wealth said that it believes that there is an opportunity for both multi-asset and single strategy to develop as separate distinct businesses.

Its statement added that “Old Mutual Wealth is assessing, together with OMGI management, internal and external structures for the single strategy business to continue to develop it further.”

‘Cornerstone capabilities’

Paul Feeney, pictured left, chief executive of Old Mutual Wealth, said that the long term strategy of the business and its preparations for listing in 2018 are “well on track” and added that investment management remains at “the core of the business” and multi-asset management and discretionary fund management are “cornerstone capabilities”.

“They are critical components to ensure we continue to deliver good customer outcomes, as well as supporting the on-going retention of assets.

“The creation of a dedicated multi-asset business, led by Paul Simpson, is a further step to enhance Old Mutual Wealth’s future prospects.”

Old Mutual Wealth  said that it has one of the fastest growing multi-asset capabilities in the UK with £16bn of assets under management as at 30th June 2017. In the first half of 2017, multi-asset reported net inflows were £1.6bn.

The multi-asset capability comprises portfolio management of multi-asset funds and managed portfolio services as well as fund research.