ING to Split Investment Unit from Insurance Sale

ING has decided to split the sale of its Asian insurance business by auctioning its investment management business separately, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

ING has hired Credit Suisse as the sell-side adviser for the sale of the business, the source added.

ING’s Asia-Pacific investment management business managed about $55 billion across, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, at the end of the fourth quarter, 2011, according to a company filing made on Thursday.

ING and Credit Suisse declined comment. The source was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

ING recently hired Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to handle the sale of its roughly $6.5 billion Asia life insurance business, which included its asset management business.

When ING announced the Asia insurance sale last month, it was unclear whether the company would separate the asset management business from the auction. Separating that business allows ING to attract a more focused group of suitors for the unit.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Additional reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Ken Wills)