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£2bn merger for Artemis and ABN Amro

ABN Amro has moved to stem the tide of investors flooding out of its UK funds by merging with Artemis Investment Management to create a group with £2bn under management.

In a deal which will see the ABN brand disappear from the UK retail market, the Dutch-owned fund manager is taking a 58 per cent stake in Artemis and relinquishing the running of its funds to the boutique&#39s team of fund managers.

The merged company will be branded under the Artemis banner and run by Artemis chief executive Mark Tyndall who, along with its existing management team, will take a 37 per cent stake. Outside shareholders will hold the rest.

ABN had been trying to find a deal to satisfy investors and IFAs since last month when star managers George Luckraft and Nigel Thomas walked out before their contracts expired to join Framlington.

Luckraft&#39s former funds – UK high income and equity income – will now be taken over by Adrian Frost while the UK growth and select opportunities funds managed by Thomas will be run by Tyndall and Derek Stuart respectively.

The managers will be running far more money as ABN has around £1.5bn under management but IFAs are satisfied they have the ability to cope. Artemis says it is possible that some funds will be rationalised.

ABN global chief executive Tom Cross Brown says: “We have always put the best interests of intermediaries and investors first and I am delighted that we have secured the services of one of the UK&#39s most widely respected management teams.”

Tyndall says: “The transaction gives us the backing of a major international bank and accelerates our growth plan, while fully respecting our management control and independence.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “For investors, the deal is fantastic. Artemis will now be running massive funds but its managers are certainly capable of handling them.”

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