LONDON, March 13 Fund manager F&C Asset
Management said it continues to face "significant
headwinds" after a net outflow of 19 billion pounds ($31.55
billion) in 2013.
The outflow was attributable to the withdrawal of 20.3
billion pounds of money managed for strategic partners, which
was partly offset by an inflow of 1.3 billion pounds from
consumer and institutional clients, the company said.
"While 2013 has been a year of progress, we also acknowledge
the financial headwinds that still face our business," Chief
Executive Richard Wilson said.
"The withdrawal of assets from strategic partners will
continue to impact upon revenues, while the development of our
consumer and institutional business will take time and
The outflows amount to an annualised loss in revenue of 35.5
million pounds, of which 11.3 million pounds is reflected in
2013 earnings, the company said.
Net revenue for the group was 241.2 million pounds, down
from 243.5 million pounds in 2012.
However, the group noted that cost-cutting targets have now
been achieved, helping to strengthen the operating margin to
36.9 percent from 29.2 percent a year earlier.
F&C shareholders are due to vote on a takeover offer from
Bank of Montreal, which offered 708 million pounds for
the company in January.
The deal has the blessing of F&C's largest shareholder,
British insurer Aviva, though the company's
second-biggest investor, Standard Life, has said it may
support a rival bid if one emerges.
Meanwhile, activist U.S. investor Elliott Management Corp
has acquired derivatives equivalent to a stake of almost 11
percent in F&C, adding to expectations that shareholders may
seek a higher bid from Bank of Montreal or a rival.
F&C management reiterated its support for the Bank of
Montreal offer on Thursday, arguing that the deal would pay
shareholders "an attractive premium against the potential
medium-term standalone prospects and valuation" of the company.