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Old Mutual and BNP lead bids for Deutsche arm

Old Mutual and BNP are bel-ieved to be the front -runners in the bidding for the UK institutional arm of Deutsche Asset Management.

There are thought to be four other groups considering making bids for the business.

Old Mutual said two mon-ths ago that it was looking for a UK acquisition. A question mark now hangs over the management of DWS’s retail funds after Deutsche Asset Management said any plan to sell the UK institutional business will not include the retail arm.

But many funds are managed by the retail business.

DAM has employed consultants Hawkpoint to find potential buyers for its institutional business, taking the managers of DWS’s 18 retail funds. Although a buyer has yet to be found, a deal would leave the retail funds without fund managers. DWS would then have the options of outsourcing management of its funds or recruiting new managers.

DWS saw the departure this week of manager David Haysey, who ran the European growth portfolio. He will be replaced by Paras Anand, who has been running the group’s concentrated European opportunities fund since last May.

Spokeswoman Esther Nass says: “We cannot comment because a decision about the business will not be made until the end of the month.”

Effective Financial Planning managing director David Ell-ingworth says: “This opens a can of worms for DWS. Without knowing who the manag-ers are going to be, it is hard for us to recommend their funds. They are going to see a lot of money walking.”

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