CGNU Reported Looking For U.S. Fund Manager

October 4, 2000

London’s Financial Times (FT) reports that U.K. insurer CGNU, which recently announced the sale of its U.S. p/c business to White Mountains Insurance Group, has retained the services of investment bankers as it prepares to buy “a mid-sized us fund manager.”

CGNU is seeking to boost the status and reach of its investment management division, Morley Fund Management, to a global level, particularly in the U.S. “We don’t have an asset management capability in the US, but we need one if we are going to have credibility as a global player,” the FT quoted Morley managing director Keith Jones as saying.

The price could be high, as U.S. fund management firms are in great demand. The FT estimates CGNU would pay at least $1 billion, based on AXA’s payout for Sanford Bernstein, just over 4 percent of assets under management.

“Mr.Jones said the preference is for a retail-oriented fund manager, with a growth bias that matches Morely’s own investment approach. CGNU may, however, look at value managers. Its timetable for a US acquisition is 12-18 months,” the FT reported.

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