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Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Asset Manager's IPO May Stall

News summary by MFWire's editors

As the markets continue to rumble, at least one U.S. mutual fund firm looks likely to substantially rewrite its strategy. Speaking on a conference call last week Old Mutual PLC [see profile] CEO Julian Roberts that because "the markets are not good" the British and South African insurer may delay its plans to spin off its U.S. asset management business (which includes mutual fund shops in its multi-boutique model) next year.

Bloomberg, Dow Jones, the Independent, the New Age and the Daily Telegraph all covered Roberts' remarks as they reported on Old Mutuals' earnings for the first half of 2011, and MoneyWeb interviewed Roberts on the subject.

"It's looking more and more likely that the IPO may not happen by the end of 2012," Roberts reportedly said on the call, adding that the money from the spinoff isn't "mission critical" right now. "We don't feel any pressure to rush the IPO, we will take our time and do it when the time is right."

"We can hit our debt reduction target without needing to do the IPO of Asset Management and therefore because the market isn't favourable for us, we can take our time with US Asset Management and make sure we don't destroy value in following that right right path," Roberts told MoneyWeb.

Three other U.S. mutual fund firms -- Artisan Partners, Manning & Napier and Oaktree Capital Management -- have already filed for their own IPOs. Could the market volatility cause them, too, to rethink their timing? 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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