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BNP buys fund administrator Cogent from AMP

FRANCE/UK- BNP Paribas Securities Services, a subsidiary of the bank BNP Paribas, is to buy the international fund administration operation Cogent from the Australian bank AMP. The French bank’s securities services division operates elsewhere in Europe but the acquisition gives it a significant new presence in the UK market.

BNP is paying e363m for Cogent and will take over AMP’s obligation in a e13m subordinated loan to Cogent. The deal combines the funds servicing and custodian banking of BNP with Cogent’s knowledge of outsourcing investment operations.

Jacques-Philippe Marson, president and CEO of BNP Paribas Securities Services, believes the acquisition will enhance the group’s position in Europe.

He said: “by acquiring the largest administrator of UK investment trusts and one of the largest administrators of UK unit trusts, BNP Paribas Securities Services gains the capability to offer the full range of securities and fund administration services to institutional investors from the UK.”

Managing director of Cogent Tony Solway will continue to run the business and is to become deputy head of the institutional service business. He also joins the executive committee of BNP Paribas Securities Services.

AMP acquired what is now known as Cogent when it bought Henderson four years ago. At the end of last year, Cogent had grown to being a business administering more than e229bn in assets.

AMP consulted UBS Warburg and PricewaterhouseCoopers on the sale while BNP used the investment Bank’s corporate finance division.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and BNP is confident it will be completed in the third quarter.

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