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IMS in corporate pensions move

Multi-manager Investment Manager Selection is entering the corporate pension market through its acquisition of MM Asset Management from Threadneedle.

The deal was completed through a sale and purchase agreement which makes Threadneedle a minority shareholder in IMS.

IMS will not disclose the size of Threadneedle’s holding but says it will not have a seat on the board.

Until now, IMS has been wholly owned by its directors and staff but it insists its independence will not be compromised by Threadneedle’s stake.

MM Asset Management was founded in 2000 by Guy Davies and Derek Dunne, who worked for Mercer Investment Consulting. It has £0.7bn in assets under management and runs multi-manager portfolios mainly for corporate pension schemes. IMS will keep it as a stand-alone business at least for the first year.

The merger will see Davies join the board of IMS as executive director (corporate pensions) but Dunne has not accepted a role. No redundancies are planned as a result of the acquisition.

IMS says it would have naturally migrated to the corporate pension market because the shift towards defined- benefit schemes has opened up opportunities.

Chairman Richard Timberlake says: “We are thrilled that Threadneedle is happy with a modest stake in our business, with no intention of interfering or wanting to sit on the board. A lot of people wanted a stake in our business but we said no. We were early in to multi-manager and now everyone wants to be in the market.

“We are not a pretty girl being courted by everyone but a lot of groups have not got the required scale for this market and recognise that an acqui- sition is the best way to do it.”

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