September 2, 2017 / 9:06 PM / a year ago

Old Mutual Wealth splits funds unit into two

LONDON (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.

Reporting by Ben Martin; Editing by Simon Jessop, Greg Mahlich

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