Jupiter asset management appoints George Osborne’s Robey Warshaw to bolster defences against potential takeover bid as merger frenzy grips City
Jupiter asset management has appointed Robey Warshaw to bolster its defences against a potential takeover bid as a merger frenzy grips the City, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
The £61 billion fund group, chaired by Edward Bonham Carter until earlier this year, has hired the blue-blooded investment banking boutique as an adviser.
It is understood Robey Warshaw, which hired former Chancellor George Osborne as a partner in April, will be helping to devise a strategy to protect Jupiter from predators as bosses plan to improve the fund’s performance.
Bolstering defences: Robey Warshaw hired former Chancellor George Osborne as a partner in April
The move comes amid rising speculation about which City asset manager will be the next acquisition target after a flurry of activity in recent weeks.
It emerged last month that City stalwart Martin Gilbert was in a bidding war against Premier Miton to acquire River and Mercantile. Last week, Liontrust revealed it had snapped up Majedie Asset Management for up to £120million in shares and cash.
Takeovers of British companies reached a 14-year high in the first seven months of 2021, according to Reuters. The value of deals hit £149billion – three times the same period a year before.
Jupiter, a FTSE250 company chaired by Nichola Pease, has seen its shares plunge 16 per cent this year – one of the worst-performing listed funds and making it vulnerable to a takeover. Its market value is £1.3billion.
One investment banker said that Jupiter was on his target list and that he had conversations with a private equity firm possibly interested in acquiring a fund group.
Like many fund managers, Jupiter has seen investors withdraw their money as professional stock-pickers failed to deliver top returns.
Jupiter has suffered nearly £5billion of outflows since last summer. Sources said the arrival of Matthew Beesley as chief investment officer in January could pave the way for further cost-cutting in an attempt to whip the fund group into shape and prop up its share price, which sits at £2.34.
Analysts said the firm may look to close a number of small, underperforming investment funds which could result in job cuts.
Rae Maile, an analyst at brokerage Panmure Gordon, said: ‘Historically, you would never have said Jupiter was a bid story because of its boutique culture.
‘But this is no longer the case. It could make a sensible acquisition for a large US house looking to expand into the UK.’
David McCann, an analyst at broker Numis, said ‘A takeover is an increasing possibility.’