GLOBAL - Paul Griffiths (pictured), UK CEO of AXA Investment Managers, said the firm would not rule out further acquisitions post-Framlington, as the company today reported a 25% increase in assets under management to e432bn (£295bn) at year-end 2005.
AXA IM bought 100% of the Framlington Group for a total consideration of £174m over consolidated net asset value at completion in September last year. The acquisition of the business, which has a significant UK equities capability, was intended to enhance its multi-specialist model.
Griffiths, who is also global head of fixed income, told Global Pensions further acquisitions could come in the form of buying in expertise, as opposed to corporate acquisitions. In the first half of last year, the firm bought Olympia Capital Management’s hedge fund of funds team in Paris, headed up by Veronique Courlier.
“Acquisitions in my mind can actually be corporate acquisitions, like the Framlington acquisition and the Rosenberg acquisition, or they can be team acquisitions, ie. capability acquistions, bolstering our manufacturing or sales capability,” he said.
“With that in mind, there are areas where today we might think we want to increase our capability, so we might consider doing that. I would anticipate that we might be putting something into the market place fairly soon in terms of bolstering that capability.”
Griffiths said from a corporate perspective, there were “no big gaps” in the business, however he added: “We have many objectives in terms of how we want to grow our business going forward. We do not see acquisition as the way to achieve those growth aims, we want to achieve organic growth, [but] clearly that doesn’t mean we won’t do acquisitions.
“We had recognised in the market place that we had a weakness in UK equities... where we see other things that meet our needs or help grow our business in a very synergistic way then we will look at them, we are opportunistic, but that doesn’t mean we’re out there actively seeking.”
AXA IM reported net new monies of e34bn in 2005, up 16% on the previous year. AXA IM’s institutional business recorded more than e20bn of new monies across fixed income, liability driven investing, AXA Rosenberg, AXA Real Estate IM and AXA private equity.
Commenting on the results, Nicolas Moreau, CEO, AXA Investment Managers, said: “2006 will see the business continue to expand in Continental Europe and Asia, with opportunistic growth in the US and the completion of the integration of AXA Framlington in the UK which will continue to enhance our offering to clients.”
By Kristen Paech
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