EUROPE - A management buyout of Deloitte's investment and pension consulting service will see it expand outside the high net worth to the institutional market.

The UK Financial Services Authority approved the management buyout by the IPC management team and merchant bank LJ Group, which with the management team co-financed the transaction.

The AUA £2.5bn (€2.8bn) Deloitte unit's 14-person team, led by chief investment officer Neil Beaton, will form the new team of LJ Athene Investment Advisors, created as a result of the MBO.

Up to now, the Deloitte team has focused primarily on the high net worth market. LJ, which also has a significant client group in that market, will also focus on the institutional market.

LJ already has several sovereign wealth funds as clients.

A spokeswoman for Deloitte said the company had decided to sell after a review because regulation made it difficult to expand within Deloitte.

"It made sense to move out of that business," she said.