03 October 2018
UK asset manager Schroders is increasingly emerging as the front runner to win the auction of Scottish Widows' £109bn ($153bn) investment contract, but Blackrock is still expected to get some leftovers.
The Scottish life insurer, part of Lloyds Banking Group, axed Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) as manager of its assets in February, after a four-year stay with Aberdeen Asset Management over competition issues.
The fact that Schroders is a UK household name and Blackrock is seen as coming from the US has weighed heavily on the negotiations, a source wishing to remain unnamed told Insurance Asset Risk.
But for the UK asset manager there was always a question mark whether it was worth taking the whole portfolio, someone close to the negotiation told Insurance Asset Risk.
“There is the question on the impact this new business will have on your current business and your clients. As a third-party asset manager, you have to be careful not to create a perceived bias to your clients.”
Today however the Financial Times revealed Schroders is discussing allowing Lloyds to take some control of its Cazenove Capital wealth arm, a business it bought five years ago, as bait to win the portfolio.
A Schroders spokesperson said: “Schroders does not comment on market speculation.”