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UPDATE 1-BNP Paribas to overhaul asset management in growth push
May 24, 2017 / 12:08 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-BNP Paribas to overhaul asset management in growth push

(Updates with CEO comments, details)

By Maya Nikolaeva

PARIS, May 24 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas plans to increase the assets run by its fund management arm by 5 percent a year to 2020 and speed up the development of the business in Germany, China and the United States.

Banks such as BNP Paribas are making a push into asset management because it is less capital intensive than banking and less prone to rising capital requirements.

Some banks such as Credit Agricole have decided to rely more on managing money than the traditional business of taking deposits and making loans and are now playing a role in reducing the number of players.

“As far as the consolidation of the asset management industry is concerned, we are watching it with a lot of care and interest,” Frédéric Janbon, chief executive of BNP Paribas Asset Management, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

The new plan for the business, which had 416 billion euros in assets under management (AuM) at the end of 2016, is focused on faster growth, a new organization and improving its investment platform in order to grow assets under management organically by 5 percent per year, Janbon said.

Under Janbon, who has been with BNP Paribas since 1988 and became head of the asset management business in late 2015, BNP plans to prune its structure and product range and build scale as the industry combats rising costs and increasing competition.

Although investors are increasingly shunning active fund managers who promise to beat the stock market in favour of cheaper, passive funds, which simply track it, BNP will continue both active and passive asset management.

It also plans to rebrand BNP Paribas Investment Partners (IP) to BNP Paribas Asset Management (AM) from June 1.

This brand will cover around 80 percent of its business, while the rest, including local joint ventures such HFT Investment management in China, will keep their own names.

BNP Paribas AM focuses on advisory and risk management services for institutional clients, is targeting individual investors with outcome-based retirement savings products and aims to expand into digital, the bank said in a statement.

Its AuM have grown since 2014, after several years of large net outflows, according to analysts at Fitch ratings. BNP does not give a breakdown on revenue growth for the business, however, wealth and asset management revenue was down 1.2 percent in 2016, versus growth of 7.4 percent in 2015.

Meanwhile staff numbers at BNP Paribas Investment Partners fell by 3 percent in 2016 to 2,330.

The bank has a target for return on net equity from wealth and asset management of 44 percent in 2020, from 33 percent in 2016, it said in a presentation to investors earlier this year. (Additional reporting by Simon Jessop in London; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alexander Smith)

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