GLOBAL- Mergers and acquisition activity has slowed in 2009, despite banks and insurers shedding their asset management units to raise cash, a study by Jefferies Putnam Lovell reveals.
Jefferies managing director Aaron Dorr said: "As they seek ways to raise capital, distressed banks and insurers are finding their fund businesses are among the most saleable assets, with pure-play asset managers and private equity firms the most motivated buyers.''
But, he added, "while we anticipate large transactions to occur this year, M&A volume in the global asset management sector will be down, reflecting the market and economic stresses worldwide.''
Only 37 asset management transactions were announced in the first quarter, down 35% from the same period last year. The dollar amount of the assets under management was higher - $552bn in the first quarter, up from $362bn last year - but 60% of that was due to just one deal, the merger of Crédit Agricole and Société Générale's asset management businesses.
Among the most significant deals announced in the first quarter was Mitsui Life Insurance's sale of its 25% stake in Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (10%), Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. (10%), and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. (5%).
Another significant acquisition was Henderson Group's acquisition of New Star Asset Management, which closed today.
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