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Asset management roundup: FCA, NAPF, Natixis, DNCA, Man Group, NewSmith

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will consider including the asset management industry in its forthcoming wholesale sector competition review, but for now will focus on the investment and corporate banking industries.

The financial services regulator concluded its sector review which it began last year looking at aspects of competition within the financial sector.

It held two round-table discussions over competition within the asset management industry and analysed whether the bundling of ancillary services was beneficial to investors.

It will now consider initiating a market review later this year, alongside its review into the banking sector.

The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) welcomed the conclusion and said it raised questions about the investment banking sector including the cross-selling and cross-subsidy of services.

Will Pomroy, policy lead on corporate governance, said: “In its original submission to the FCA the NAPF raised concerns about aspects of the asset management market.

“It is crucial that pension funds, as clients of the asset management industry, are able to have trust in the industry and be able to assess whether they are extracting value for money from their agents in the interests of their members – future pensioners.”

In other news, Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), the multi-affiliate manager, has entered exclusive talks over the purchase of DNCA, a European investment firm.

DNCA has around €14.6bn in assets under management, mainly in European equities and covertible and euro-zone bonds.

It will join NGAM’s 20-plus other affiliates if negotiations with DNCA’s owners, TA Associates and Banda Leonardo, are successful.

The structure will see DNCA’s management retain an equity stake alongside NGAM but would gradually transition stakes to the majority stakeholder from 2016 onwards.

NGAM also announced a 17% increase in assets under management (AUM), taking its total to €735.5bn, after record €28.5bn net inflows.

Elsewhere, Man Group has entered a conditional agreement to purchase the investment management business of NewSmith, an equity house.

Man, which has $72.3bn (€64bn) in AUM hopes to complete the purchase by the second quarter of 2015, with NewSmith’s investment strategies incorporated into subsidiary Man GLG, a hedge fund.

NewSmith has around $1.2bn in AUM and is 60% owned by its founders and 40% by Japanese investment manager, SuMi Trust.

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