UK/GERMANY - Deutsche Asset Management in the UK has today confirmed that the investment bank Hawkpoint has been hired to explore its “strategic options”.

On Wednesday, DeAM in the UK declined to comment on a report indicating the Hawkpoint hire.

Now the asset manager has told IPE: “We have retained Hawkpoint to advise Deutsche Bank's internal team in assessing the strategic options for the UK fund management business. The review of this business is ongoing and all options continue to be explored”.

In addition, sources familiar with the situation told IPE that amid the new developments, a sale of DeAM in the UK had become a lot more likely. The sources added that an announcement regarding the asset manager’s future may come before the review is completed at the end of March.

Hawkpoint could not be reached for further comment.

Analysts in London believe that if all of DeAM is sold, it could fetch up to €1.1bn. It is not, however, clear whether the asset manager’s parent Deutsche Bank would sell all of it or just the embattled equity business.

Last December, Deutsche placed DeAM in the UK under review after the asset manager lost tens of billions of euros worth of institutional mandates during the course of 2004.