LONDON, June 20 Spain's Santander
confirmed on Thursday it would base its global asset management
business in London, following last month's deal to sell half the
business to U.S. private equity firms.
Britain's finance minister George Osborne had told bankers
in a speech on Wednesday that London had been chosen as the hub
for Santander's asset investment arm, much of which is currently
based in Madrid.
The bank confirmed that plan and said it was creating a
holding company for the business in London, but did not have
Santander also said it had appointed Javier San Felix, who
has previously headed Banesto, the Spanish bank Santander fully
absorbed this year, as head of a newly-created global retail
San Felix, who was briefly head of Santander's Americas
division before this move, will report to new Chief Executive
Santander reorganised its retail division, shifting its
Americas division into the unit, and integrating some of the
businesses it has absorbed in its home market.
Santander had agreed in May to sell a 50 percent stake in
the asset management arm to U.S. private equity firms Warburg
Pincus and General Atlantic LLC. The business has 600
staff mostly in Europe and Latin America.
Santander booked a 700 million euro net profit from the
deal, which valued Santander Asset Management at 2.05 billion
euros and brings together 11 asset management companies.
It said the deal would also provide financial backing to
expand the asset management business outside of Europe and Latin
America, where most of its 152 billion euros of assets currently
under management are located.