Schroders closes £230m acquisition of R&M Solutions business

Alex Hoctor-Duncan named CEO of River and Mercantile

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The final piece of the River and Mercantile sale fell into place on 31 January, when Schroders completed its £230m acquisition of the UK advisory, fiduciary management and derivatives business.

In an RNS announcement on Tuesday, Schroders said “all necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals have now been received”.

The divestment of the Solutions business was a key part of the wider sale of the River and Mercantile group to Assetco. The £100m all-share deal was agreed on 25 January 2022 after the Martin Gilbert-led outfit was twice given additional time to make a binding offer.

Senior management reshuffle

As was previously announced, River and Mercantile founder and chief executive James Barham has transferred to Schroders to take up a broader role.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he is now executive chairman at Schroders Solutions.

River and Mercantile head of strategy Alex Hoctor-Duncan (pictured) has stepped up to the chief executive role of the “refocused” group, following the Assetco deal.

Having spent 22 years at Blackrock, latterly as head of retail, Hoctor-Duncan joined Aberdeen Standard Investments in September 2018 and served as global head of the fund group from October 2020 until his departure last year.

“I am delighted to become CEO of River and Mercantile. River and Mercantile has all of the components to successfully build on our growth and I believe that with the right purpose, culture and leadership, we can achieve excellent results for our people, our clients and our shareholders,“ he wrote on LinkedIn.

£42bn of assets added

Schroders said its acquisition of River and Mercantile Group’s UK Solutions division (RMSD) reaffirms its strategy “to provide clients with the highest quality solutions for their pension needs”.

“The merged business has the commitment, reach and resourc to help defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, both large and small, address the challenges of delivering value and sustainable outcomes to all their members.”

The acquisition has added RMSD’s £42bn of assets to Schroders Global Solutions business, which manages £193.3bn.

Schroders Group chief executive Peter Harrison said: “This acquisition further enhances our ability to meet the increasingly complex needs of pension fund clients and is consistent with our growth strategy. The business brings with it a well-respected team, with a strong track record of success and is a good cultural fit with Schroders. We see significant opportunities from this partnership.

“Schroders Solutions will maintain an open architecture framework, while having access to Schroders asset management investment capabilities, private assets business and extensive sustainability experience.”

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