Marlborough poised to buy BNP Paribas’ UK ACD business

Marlborough Fund Managers is poised to acquire BNP Paribas’ ACD business in the UK in a deal which will substantially enhance its presence in the marketplace.

InvestmentEurope’s sister publication Investment Week said it understands the asset manager is set to acquire Investment Fund Services Limited (IFSL) from the French bank imminently.

Widely known for its fund range, Marlborough also has an authorised corporate director (ACD) business with hundreds of millions of pounds in assets under management.

It currently acts as ACD for a number of funds in the UK, including Slater Investments.

However, the purchase of IFSL would significantly expand Marlborough’s presence in the market.

Currently, Marlborough has £1.6bn in total in assets under management, according to the Investment Management Association (IMA), with approximately £900m in its fund range. The remaining £600m is understood to be held within its ACD business

Any deal with IFSL – which is understood to have around £700m in AUM – would effectively double its ACD business.

IFSL was launched by BNP Paribas back in 2007, with a mandate to providing fund hosting services to its clients, while also enabling advisers, wealth managers and asset managers to launch their own UK-based funds, or distributor influenced funds (DIFs).

The IFSL service also enables asset managers to outsource non-core investment activities.

IFSL currently has around 20 funds on its books, including products from Brooks Macdonald, Barclays and Harewood.

Both Marlborough and BNP Paribas declined to comment.

Earlier this year Investment Week revealed the Financial Services Authority  had launched a crackdown on ACDs operating in the UK following the Arch cru scandal.

The ACD market has already seen one major player exit this year. International Financial Data Services (IFDS), one of the most well-known ACDs, stopped taking on any new business earlier this year, and is looking to scale back and then offload its existing book.


This article was first published on Investment Week

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