Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo is considering to merge its asset management business with a global firm in a deal expected to be closed in 2018.
During the firm´s presentation on its 2018-2021 industrial plan held last February, Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina said the banking group was aiming to become the first bank in Europe and a continental leader in wealth management and protection.
Messina stated: “We want to become a leader in Europe, and we want also to have partnership, a possible partnership with a global industrial player, maintaining, in any case, the full majority of any kind of combination. But we are open to consider also, a strategic alliance with a global industrial payer.
“We are weighing up various international players but we’ve not yet made a decision.”
Italian trade media Bluerating reported that US giant BlackRock was understood to be a potential partner for the Italian manager.
However, Messina said Intesa would like to keep a majority stake in any potential combined business.
After Carlo Messina said there would be a sharper focus on the Italian group´s asset management activities while unveiled plans on the potential partnership, CEO of Eurizon Tommaso Corcos announced that the company was open to offload up to 20% of its business as it looked to partner with a global fund company.
Eurizon´s CEO Tommaso Corcos commented: “For a big player like Eurizon, with €314bn in assets under management, it is difficult to pinpoint allies that are not afraid – rightly or wrongly – of being swallowed up by a combination. That’s why our plan is to partner with an operator of global dimensions.”
Eurizon Capital is one of the asset management firms owned by Intesa Sanpaolo, which manages €400bn in assets, run by Eurizon and private bank Fideuram.