EUROPE – ABN Amro says it is reviewing the profitability of individual mandates at its asset management business amid a 10% decline in net profit at the division.

Net profit at the asset management business unit fell in the first quarter to €27m from €30m a year before. This was due to the tax impact of the sale of the Czech Pension Fund a year ago.

“Asset management’s strategy is focused on growth in profits rather than growth in assets under management,” the Dutch-based bank said.

It pointed out that alternative assets, which generate higher fees than traditional products, were growing rapidly. But it said: “The profitability of individual mandates is also being reviewed.” ABN Amro’s press office did not respond to a request for clarification.

The group said outflows in assets under management were primarily related to low profit mandates.

Assets under management slipped to €159.6bn from €160.7bn – aided by €3.1bn in positive exchange rates. At constant exchange rates, AUM would have declined by €4.2bn.

Overall, the bank reported that first-quarter net operating profit was up 5.4% at €895m.

“The solid growth of our net operating profit compared with the same period last year was satisfactory, as if was driven by our consumer and commercial clients business, despite the much lower results from the US mortgage business,” said chairman Rijkman Groenink.