June 22, 2018 / 3:19 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Munich Re CEO says wants to strengthen asset management amid sale reports

* Partnership could strengthen unit, CEO says in memo

* Comes amid report of talks with U.S.’s Guggenheim

* “Would make no sense” to withdraw from investment - CEO (Adds details, background)

MUNICH, June 22 (Reuters) - Munich Re wants to strengthen its asset management unit, perhaps through cooperating with partners, the company’s chief told employees on Friday.

The internal memo by CEO Joachim Wenning comes amid reports that the German reinsurer is in talks with a U.S. fund manager to sell Munich Ergo Asset Management GmbH (MEAG).

“Investment will remain an integral part of the value chain in primary insurance and reinsurance in the future,” Wenning wrote in the note seen by Reuters.

“Therefore, it would make no sense at all for us to withdraw from investment activities. On the contrary, it is in our strategic interest to continually develop and strengthen our asset management.”

A person familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Thursday that talks with U.S. fund manager Guggenheim Partners were at an early stage and that there was currently no formal sales process.

Wenning said in the memo that one possible way to strategically strengthen the investment activities was to work together with partners, citing “very positive experiences” with digital partnerships in reinsurance and with Munich Re’s primary insurance unit Ergo.

MEAG has 250 billion euros ($290.75 billion) in assets under management.

$1 = 0.8598 euros Reporting by Alexander Huebner Writing by Tom Sims Editing by Maria Sheahan

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