GERMANY/ITALY – Commerzbank has found a buyer for its Italian investment unit, and is also planning to expand Jupiter Asset Management’s activities in Germany.

At the annual general meeting, Commerzbank’s chief executive, Klaus-Peter Mueller said: “In the second quarter of the current year, we will dispose of our asset-management unit in Italy.” Commerzbank’s fund management arm in Italy is called Commerzbank Asset Management Italia SpA.

A spokesman for Commerzbank confirmed that a buyer had been found, and that details would be announced over the coming weeks. Commerzbank has been trying to sell its Italian asset management subsidiary for some time. Last year a deal was near to closing with Australian company, AMP, but the Bank of Italy would not permit the transaction.

With regards to subsidiary Jupiter International Group, which comprises Jupiter Unit Trust Managers Ltd and Jupiter Asset Management Ltd in the UK, Mueller said: “We want to distribute the attractive products of Jupiter to a greater extent in Germany.” The spokesman for Commerzbank explained that Jupiter’s products have been “more or less exclusive to the UK” and now would be being pushed abroad – predominantly in Germany.” Jupiter has over eight billion pounds (11 billion euros) in assets under management.

Also at the AGM, Commerzbank announced plans to become more active in the field of private banking. “For us, this interesting target group consists of customers with assets of 1.25 million euros to invest or a gross household income of over 250,000 euros per year,” said Mueller.

Commerzbank has around 420 billion euros in consolidated assets under management.
Helen Avery