Veteran asset managers see consolidation
A QUARTET of top names in the asset management industry have predicted a period of consolidation, coupled with simplification and heightened scrutiny of the financial products they offer.
Martin Gilbert, who heads Aberdeen Asset Management, said he expected there to be “fewer asset managers in three years than there are today”.
“Firms today can be split into two distinct camps – consolidators and those that are likely to be consolidated,” he said.
His own firm added to its stable at the end of 2008 with the acquisition of Credit Suisse’s UK asset management arm in a £250m all-share deal.
Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the US asset manager that bought Barclays Global Investors earlier this year, agreed that consolidation was likely.
“Investors are increasingly looking to globally integrated firms…and as scale becomes paramount, there will be further consolidation,” he said.
Andrew Formica, chief executive of Henderson Group, which bought fellow asset manager New Star for £115m this year, said the industry would also be subjected to more detailed examination.
“We are going to experience greater scrutiny – both by clients and by regulators,” he said. He added that the products offered by asset managers would be simpler in the future.
Alain Grisay, who heads F&C Asset Management said: “The responsibility of distributors has been highlighted and therefore we are seeing demand for simpler, more transparent products.”