THE head of Old Mutual’s wealth management business has laid out plans to grow the unit’s pretax profit to more than £300m in three years and make it a leading European provider of wealth and retirement solutions.
Old Mutual Wealth CEO Paul Feeney said in a video interview after an investor presentation in London last week that his vision was to run a modern, integrated and strong asset management and wealth management unit that would be capital efficient and provide "real" wealth and retirement solutions.
This would be backed by strong asset management tools, Mr Feeney said.
The presentation was made after Old Mutual announced early this year it would create a single wealth management unit in Europe by combining its Wealth Management Continental Europe business in France and Italy with the Skandia retail Europe business unit in Germany, Austria, Poland and Switzerland.
This was after the UK-headquartered global insurer sold its Nordic business for £2.1bn to Skandia Liv and also sold the Finnish unit of Skandia Life Assurance for an undisclosed sum to Finnish group, Op-Pohjola.
"My vision is to create a modern, vertically integrated wealth management business with (a) strong asset management company," Mr Feeney said.
"I think more significantly, it will be a business which is producing real solutions for real people (and) the number one provider of wealth solutions in the UK (and international markets) supported by one of the strongest asset management business in the UK," he said.
Mr Feeney said this vision was based on three priorities: to unify, simplify and grow the business. The ultimate aim was to "significantly" grow profit over the next three years.
The wealth management unit planned to achieve growth in pretax profits of more than £300m by 2015, a return on equity of 12%-15% and an operating margin of 40%.
The unit achieved pretax profit of £147m last year. This, however, excluded Old Mutual’s UK asset management unit and the Austrian, German, Polish and Swiss businesses which were then part of the retail Europe division.
Old Mutual said in a separate note that growth in pretax profit would be achieved by increasing asset management and other product revenue, developing distribution capacity and capability and through operational efficiencies.
"This strategy is … predicated on the achievement of a range of growth rates in assets under management and operating margin scenarios," read the note.
"As part of the plans, Old Mutual will take a net £15m operating charge in 2012 for closing to new business in Germany and Austria, and for redundancies and associated costs of a staff reduction of about 200 employees in the UK and France," it read.
The insurer said further measures to secure operational efficiency and associated costs and benefits would be released in due course.
Among other strategies, Old Mutual Wealth planned to focus on few but profitable markets in the UK and in selected international segments. It would use the merged Skandia Investment Group and Old Mutual Asset Managers UK unit to expand profits and its strong base for growth, said Mr Feeney.