(Corrects first bullet point and first paragraph to show target
is around 130 billion pounds, not 150 billion)
* Targets nearly 130 billion pounds within 4 years
* CEO says eyeing U.S. acquisitions
* Underlying pre-tax profit 190 mln stg
* Final dividend 5.85 pence
By Chris Vellacott
LONDON, Feb 26 Fund manager Henderson Group
is aiming to double its assets by 2018 to nearly 130
billion pounds ($221.2 billion) and its top target is a deal in
the United States to fill "a big gap" in the company's business
Chief Executive Andrew Formica told journalists that his
strategy was to push Henderson beyond its core UK market and
that may also involve small acquisitions in his native Australia
"By 2018 we expect to have a truly global footprint,
infrastructure and mindset, to have delivered in excess of 5
percent in net new money each year," he said on a conference
"With reasonable market appreciation and some bolt-on
acquisitions, our ambition is to double our AUM (assets under
management) for the group," he said.
Formica was speaking after the group posted a 14-percent
increase in the assets it manages for clients during 2013, much
of which he attributed to a strategy focusing the business on
retail clients, who, he said, were investing more.
Total assets under management were 75.2 billion pounds at
the end of 2013, the company said, up from 65.6 billion pounds
and buoyed by a 2.5 billion pounds net inflow from retail
clients in the final quarter of the year.
Formica said inflows were continuing this current year, with
investors becoming more confident as markets and economies
recover after the financial crisis.
Most in demand are property and equities, particularly in
Europe where markets have recovered convincingly since the euro
zone's sovereign debt crisis.
Underlying profit before tax in 2013 was nearly 25 percent
higher than a year earlier at 190.1 million pounds, the company
Profits were lifted by higher revenues than in 2012, and a
near tripling in performance fees - part of the returns made on
its clients' money - but held back by higher staffing costs.
Henderson shares were trading close to 1 percent higher by
($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds)
(Editing by Louise Ireland)