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Gartmore brand to be dropped following Henderson deal

Henderson has confirmed that the Gartmore brand will be dropped at the conclusion of the £335m deal to acquire the troubled asset manager.

Henderson announced the agreement to buy the asset manager this morning in a deal that would see the combined group hold assets under management of £78.1bn.

When Henderson acquired New Star Asset Management in 2009, the group decided to keep the New Star brand due to its strong retail presence. However, Henderson decided to drop the Henderson New Star brand and use the Henderson name last year.

A spokesman for Henderson says: “This acquisition will be concluded over three stages, the first of which is the actual deal itself, which we hope will take three months. The second phase will be client admin and brand integration, which will see all the Gartmore Oeic business brought together with our own platform business. Then the Gartmore name will be replaced with the Henderson name. There will be no brand integration as was seen with the New Star deal.”

Henderson director of UK retail Simon Hillenbrand has also revealed that the firm expects to begin fund rationalisation between themselves and Gartmore in the summer.

Hillenbrand says that unlike the New Star deal, both Gartmore and Henderson operate on the same operating platform, meaning that merger activity will happen at a faster pace.

He says: “Unlike the New Star acquisition, this deal will be done far faster but we still want to make sure everything will be done right. We have agreed terms with a number of the group’s leading managers and we hope the combined business puts us in position to compete with the leading managers in the retail space as we will have a huge fund offering that can compete in every market.”

Henderson and Gartmore currently have a total of 90 funds between them, according to figures from TrustNet.

Both group have seen their share price jump by over 10 per cent on the back of the deal. At 12.18, Henderson’s share price stood at 152p, while Gartmore’s was 100p.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “The deal will obviously significantly enhance Henderson’s presence in the retail fund market but crucially it will remove the uncertainty surrounding Gartmore’s future.

“When a fund manager is in limbo, the risk is that talented managers will head toward the exit door along with investors, putting severe pressure on the investment house’s bottom line.

“The takeover will provide unitholders with more clarity regarding the ownership and we are comfortable with Henderson as a recognised UK retail investment house. The successful integration of troubled asset manager New Star by Henderson last year further strengthens their case.”

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