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Santander to sell stake in funds business

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Santander is close to finalising a deal to sell a holding in its asset management business to two American private equity investors.

According to The Sunday Times, Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic are discussing buying a minority stake in the business, which has assets under management of £135bn across the bank’s operations in the UK, Spain and South America.

A previous attempt by Santander to sell its asset management and insurance arms was abandoned in 2008 because of adverse market conditions.

The reported move comes days after chief executive Alfredo Saenz resigned. Last month, the firm posted a 26 per cent fall in first quarter profits to €1.2bn.

Before his resignation, Saenz said the bank was speaking to potential “partners” in its asset management business that may be interested in participating in a “bigger” project, according to Bloomberg.

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