SocGen to Seek Buyer for $175 Billion Fund Arm After Review

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Societe Generale SA has decided to pursue a sale of its Lyxor asset management business after a year-long strategic review, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The French bank is working with an adviser as it seeks a buyer for the division, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. SocGenstarted exploring options for the business last year and has been informally gauging interest in different parts of the unit, the people said.

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    Lyxor, one of Europe’s largest providers of exchange-traded funds, manages about 149.8 billion euros ($174.8 billion) in assets, according to itswebsite. A sale of Lyxor would add to a number of attempted disposals by SocGen Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea, who’s been trying to shore up the bank’scapital buffers and boost profitability.

    No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the discussions will result in a sale, the people said. A representative for SocGen declined to comment.

    In recent years, SocGen has divested its Nordicleasing operations as well as its Belgianprivate bank. The lender was also trying to sell its U.K. private bank Kleinwort Hambros, though it decided to keep the business after several suitors fell away, Bloomberg Newsreported in February.

    Lenders have been reviewing their asset management operations, which are generally capital-light but require scale to compete as the industry’s fees increasingly come under pressure.Bank of Montreal andWells Fargo & Co. areamong firms that have beenexploring options for their fund units, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

    — With assistance by Alexandre Rajbhandari

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