Thursday 24 May 2018

IFG won't sell off UK wealth division

Shares in IFG slumped as much as 10pc, with investors having factored in a sale of Saunderson House into IFG’s share price during the past couple of months (stock picture)
Shares in IFG slumped as much as 10pc, with investors having factored in a sale of Saunderson House into IFG’s share price during the past couple of months (stock picture)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Financial services group IFG has abandoned any plans to sell its UK-based wealth management business, Saunderson House.

It said offers for the unit were "not wholly aligned with the strategy of Saunderson House and would present significant execution risks that would likely create lower shareholder value than from retaining the business".

Shares in IFG slumped as much as 10pc, with investors having factored in a sale of Saunderson House into IFG's share price during the past couple of months.

IFG, whose chief executive is John Cotter, confirmed in early February that it had received a number of unsolicited approaches for the unit, which had £5.1bn (€5.8bn) of assets under management at the end of 2017, an 11pc increase on 2016. It added 247 new clients last year, to bring its total to 2,121, and made an £8.6m (€9.8m) operating profit.

Releasing preliminary results last month, IFG said that discretionary management product at Saunderson House has been growing ahead of expectations and is attracting a broader client range, "providing scalability to underpin our growth trajectory".

IFG said yesterday that it had reviewed the non-binding indicative offers that had been made for Saunderson House and that they had been "in line with market expectations".

"IFG is now focused on continuing the development of the business," it noted.

The company will set aside £1.5m (€1.7m) in both 2018 and 2019 to incentivise key staff at Saunderson House to remain at the business.

Irish Independent

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