UK - UK financial services group NM Rothschild is believed to have found a buyer for its asset management business, Rothschild Asset Management. The UK’s fifth largest bank, HBOS Plc, is understood to have entered into exclusive talks to buy the unit for around 100 million pounds (157 million euros). Both parties declined to comment on the deal.

Rothschild announced that it would be putting its institutional and retail investment management businesses up for sale in September, in order to focus on its private banking business.

Rothschild AM manages more than 13 billion pounds (20.4 billion euros) in funds and returns are believed to be adequate but it maintains its operations lack the scale to compete with larger managers.

Mark Connolly, global head of institutional business at Rothschild, said in September: “RAM has made considerable progress in recent years in terms of high quality personnel recruited, new business growth and in many areas of investment performance.

“However, the group does not believe that the critical mass necessary for the continued provision of a high quality service will be achieved by organic growth alone.”

A deal with HBOS could be announced within the next two weeks, according to UK press reports.