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NN Group NV Update

With the accelerated pace of industry consolidation, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and German DWS are preparing to bid for the investment management department of NN Group.

Dutch Insurance Company April said It is considering selling NN Investment Partners, which manages 300 billion euros in assets.

The deadline for the final binding offer is Monday. People familiar with the matter said that GSAM with more than US$2 trillion in regulated assets and Frankfurt-based DWS are still in the process of selling and preparing to bid.

One of the people familiar with the matter said that the transaction price was about 1.4 billion euros. NN Group, GSAM and DWS declined to comment.

UBS Asset Management, Janus Henderson and American insurance company Prudential Financial are among the companies that have previously registered their interests. All three declined to comment.

Global investment managers are working M&A It aims to protect profits from rising costs and falling expenses, while seeking to enter fast-growing markets such as passive investment, private assets and ESG, and to open up new distribution channels.

Vincent Bounie, senior managing director of Fenchurch Advisory, a financial services specialty investment bank, said: “The competitive environment for traditional active asset management companies has intensified, with a small number of larger players now dominating the institutional sector. “

“Development becomes complicated and it is difficult to make a profit, especially if you have undifferentiated ordinary vanilla products.”

Asoka Woehrmann, chief executive of DWS controlled by Deutsche Bank, told shareholders at the 820 billion euro group annual meeting last month that it wanted to be an “active participant” in industry consolidation. It is seeking to further expand its scale to challenge rival Amundi’s dominance in Europe.

At the same time, for insurance companies, long-term low interest rates and higher capital requirements Solvency II Bunny said the rules prompted groups to weigh where they would allocate capital. “For many of them, the secondary asset management department is no longer a core activity, and there may be more divestitures.”

The Hague-based NN Group faced pressure last year from the radical hedge fund Elliott Management to increase returns and simplify its operations. It said in April that it was considering options including mergers, joint ventures, or partial divestments of the division.

NN Investment Partners has approximately 950 employees. Of its 300 billion euro assets under management, two-thirds are managed on behalf of its insurance parent company, and the remaining one-third are managed by external investors.

The scope of funds in this sector covers fixed income, stocks, multi-asset and alternative investment strategies. It has a strong position in ESG investment, especially in the areas of green bonds, impact equity and sustainable equity.

Supplementary report by Ian Smith in London

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