A Barclays-ABN AMRO combination would create an asset management business that would run a total of $2.058 trillion. BGI, Barclays asset management unit, managed about $1.8 trillion in assets worldwide as of Dec. 31 while ABN AMRO managed e193.3 billion ($255.21 billion) as of the same date.
ABN AMRO announced on Monday that it was in exclusive preliminary discussions with Barclays over a possible purchase by the British banking giant.
The potential deal could be among the first of many cross-boarder banking transactions in the near future, said Ben Phillips, managing director at investment bank Putnam Lovell NBF Securities. These deals will largely be motivated by banking needs and demands in the European markets, he added, with asset management as a secondary motivator. A lot of key questions will be asked for European institutions about the importance of their asset management businesses.
In the case of Barclays and ABN AMRO, investment bankers said asset management plays only a minor role in the potential deal. There arent many similarities between the businesses, bankers said, and Barclays might not be interested in keeping much or any of the ABN AMRO asset management business. Its not a great fit, said one banker, who asked not to be identified. BGI is passive and quantitative, while ABN AMRO is active fundamental. Picking up ABN AMROs business doesnt do much for what BGI is trying to do.