Old Mutual on the up but where next for OMGI

When CEO Paul Feeney speaks about creating the UKs leading retail investment business at the helm of Old Mutual Wealth and a market leading asset management from its Global Investors (OMGI) arm, youre inclined to believe him.

Old Mutual on the up but where next for OMGI


A group moving so fast – five different stock market announcements in three minutes on Friday morning – it’s hard to determine where its achievements end and its ambitions begin.
Old Mutual has always been a big player, but with the latest acquisition of adviser network Intrinsic, confirmation of double-digit AUM growth from OMGI and its cross-border sales, plus an encouraging performance from the Skandia platform, it’s clear the group wants all bases covered. 

Solid foundations

If Old Mutual really is to sustain a position as the leading retail investment business in this country, it needs rock solid foundations from OMGI, where any drop in performance could seriously undermine its credibility. 
The recruitment last year of Richard Buxton from Schroders underlines its intentions, though all its star fund managers need to deliver. It boasts 23 retail funds across equities, fixed income and alternatives, with a further 14 multi-asset vehicles in its Generation Target, Spectrum and Voyager ranges. Whether it needs to expand or rationalise is up for debate.
“I think it is expansion all the way from here with their big desk undoubtedly their UK desk,” says Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services. 
“Alongside Buxton they have Ashton Bradbury who still runs a hedge fund, a premium mid and small cap product and a UK Equity Income fund run by Stephen Message which is ever growing in attraction.”
“I think that emerging markets is the direction they are travelling in and I wouldn’t be surprised to see further expansion there.” 

Big strides

Post RDR smaller, nimbler boutique asset managers have taken big strides forward with their perceived specialism in individual asset classes. But the bigger players have also enlarged their footprint, not just Old Mutual, but also the acquisitive behemoths of Henderson Global Investors and Schroders
Adds McDermott: “With 300 odd funds in the UK retail market, how many of them actually take money? Or is it just 30 funds taking all of the money?”
“For Old Mutual Wealth, I would think the moves that they have made in the past 12 months are really positive, and from my point of view as a fund buyer the acquisition of Richard Buxton was a serious show of intent. Where they have gone with pricing, and giving fund managers segregated mandates is all very clever, and they have made noticeable progress.”