GLOBAL – Global banking group ABN Amro reported a 6.5% rise in assets under management to €173.2bn since the third quarter last year and a 3.7% increase on the quarter, and a 7.8% hike in the first nine months.

The number was released as the group posted its third-quarter results today showing a 24.5% surge in total operating income in its asset management business unit on the year to €518m.

The total operating income increased 12.7% to €186m since June.

The rise in AUM, coupled with improved average profitability per product, lifted net commission 5.6% to €150m.

Total assets remained unmoved since the end-June at €1.2bn, while risk-weighted assets dipped 10% to €900m.

Overall, the group’s total operating income increased 15% compared with the first nine months of 2004, and the net operating profit soared by 36.4%.

The group posted a 23.6% surge in total assets to €899.3bn since the end of last year, and a 5.1% climb since end-June.

Risk-weighted assets grew 17.6% to €272.4bn since 31 December 2004.

Despite the negative impact of the €2.5bn increase in equity due to the pre-funding of the intended acquisition of Banca Antonveneta, return on equity for the first nine months was 23.2%.

“The group’s performance in the first nine months of the year was good and was underpinned by strong organic growth of our consumer and commercial client revenues in our mid-market franchises in Brazil, North America, the Netherlands and Asia,” said ABN Amro chairman Rijkman Groenink. “The organisational alignment, in combination with the intended acquisition of Banca Antonveneta, will enhance our solid platform for sustainable profitable growth.”

Earlier this month, ABN Amro named Australian Sarah Russell, 43, as chief executive of its asset management division.

She succeeded Huibert Boumeester, who was to join the board as head of group risk management, corporate development and M&A.