Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK-listed bank which is restructuring as part of a plan to recover from big losses, said it has agreed to sell its asset management assets to rival firm Aberdeen Asset Management for £84.7 million (about $135 million).
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year. A number of media reports today said such a transaction had been expected.
This is the latest in a number of merger and acquisition deals seen in the asset management and wealth management sectors in recent years. Aberdeen has already bolstered its business by buying fund management assets from Credit Suisse last year.
RBS, which is the parent firm of Coutts, the UK private bank, and its international sister wealth management firm, RBS Coutts, has been looking to shed some assets to help rebuild its balance sheet and repay government bailout cash. There has been no suggestion that it intends to spin off wealth management operations, seen as prestige assets for the bank.
Today’s sale agreement encompasses the Investment Strategies (funds of funds) division of RBS Asset Management, which was set up in 1998. Assets under management stood at £13.5 billion as at 30 September last year.
"This transaction represents another step in our plan to restructure RBS around its core customer franchises. Aberdeen is a well regarded and well established global asset manager and will be an excellent new owner for the business. We look forward to building an ongoing relationship with Aberdeen primarily focused around the provision of RBS Asset Management's funds of funds and multi-manager products,” said RBS group chief financial officer Bruce Van Saun.