Green light for sale of AIB asset management unit
AIB HAS received regulatory clearance to complete the sale of its asset management business to South African financial group Prescient Holdings but the senior figure in the section is to stay with AIB.
The deal, which was announced last November, was given the green light by the Central Bank on Monday. Staff are expected to be briefed on the transaction today.
It involves the sale of AIB Asset Management Holdings (Ireland) Ltd, including AIB Investment Managers Ltd, to Prescient for an undisclosed sum. The business is expected to be renamed as Prescient Investment Managers (Ireland) Ltd.
It is understood that Frank O’Riordan, AIBIM’s managing director and chief investment officer, and about 20 staff, will not be moving with the business to Prescient. Instead, Mr O’Riordan and the staff will be returning to roles within the AIB group.
Mr O’Riordan was invited to remain with the business at Prescient but declined and is now looking at opportunities within the bank.
He joined the board of AIBIM in 1999, becoming its managing director in September 2006.
AIBIM currently manages assets of about €8.5 billion for a variety of clients, including pension, corporate, charity and private clients both in Ireland and overseas. This would include AIB’s own pension schemes.
AIBIM was established in 1966, and was described as having a “strong profit record”, according to a statement from Prescient at the time of the original announcement last November.
The asset manager has offices in Dublin and New York and employs about 100 people.
Prescient is based in Cape Town. Set up in 1998, it is in the process of listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
It claims to be South Africa’s leading quantitative investment management house with €9 billion of assets under management.
AIB declined to comment on the sale yesterday.
In November, the bank said the “positive impact on AIB Group’s capital position as a result of the transaction is not material”.
This sale is part of a wider restructuring of the AIB group to divest itself of non-core assets and to raise funds to boost its capital ratios.