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Money Management

Deutsche Bank, UBS asset units in ‘serious’ merger talks — report

The twin tower headquarter offices of Deutsche Bank, left, stand beside the skyscraper offices of UBS Group, right, in Frankfurt.

The asset management units of Deutsche Bank and UBS Group are in "serious" talks to merge, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter it didn't identify.

Discussions about a deal have been ongoing for "a couple of months" and one structure being considered is for UBS to fold its asset management unit into Deutsche Bank's DWS Group in exchange for shares in the larger group, according to the report. Deutsche Bank would remain the largest shareholder, the report said.

Representatives for UBS and DWS declined to comment.

Several asset managers including UBS have been studying a tie-up with DWS, Bloomberg reported previously. DWS is considering partnering with other managers in a way that would leave control with Deutsche Bank while boosting assets under management, Bloomberg first reported last week.

DWS CEO Asoka Woehrmann, who was appointed in October, has accelerated cost cutting as he tries to stem four consecutive quarters of client asset outflows. He's also conducting a review of the business, people familiar with the matter have said.

DWS had €662 billion ($742 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2018, while UBS had $781 billion.