Schroders CEO Says Firm Open to More Acquisitions

Schroders Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Dobson said the U.K.’s biggest publicly traded money manager may make more acquisitions after expanding its U.S. and wealth units last year.

The company today reported a 90 percent jump in first-quarter revenue for its wealth-management unit, boosted by its takeover of Cazenove Capital Holdings Ltd., which was completed in July. The shares rose as the firm reported 3.8 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) of net inflows, which included 2.8 billion pounds from its retail business.

“Our emphasis has always been on organic growth,” Dobson said in a telephone interview from London. “We have always said that if we can find acquisitions that fit our strategy and help us accelerate that growth then we are interested.”

U.K. asset managers have seen a flurry of deals in the past year, including Schroders’s purchase of STW Fixed Income Management LLC in the U.S., Standard Life Investments Ltd.’s purchase of Ignis Asset Management Ltd. in March and today’s announcement by Old Mutual Wealth to buy Henderson Group Plc’s 50 percent stake in multi-asset firm Cirilium.

Schroders’s two deals last year “made a lot of sense strategically and we may do more,” Dobson, 61, said. “Unlike some others, our focus is not primarily on acquisitions. It’s absolutely on leveraging the growth potential we see in our existing business.”

The company reported a 14 percent increase in first-quarter profit before tax and exceptional items to 130.7 million pounds, according to a statement today. Assets under management grew to 268 billion pounds.

The shares climbed 1.7 percent to 2,599 pence at 1:35 p.m. in London as Dobson said Schroders has a “good pipeline” of business that hasn’t been funded, including its 12.2 billion-pound mandate from Friends Life Group Plc that it won in March.

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