Henderson aims to double its assets

Fund manager Henderson Group is aiming to double its assets by 2018 to about £150bn and its top target is a deal in the United States to fill “a big gap” in the company’s business mix.

Chief executive Andrew Formica said that his strategy was to push Henderson beyond its core UK market and that may also involve small acquisitions in his native Australia and Asia.

“By 2018 we expect to have a truly global footprint, infrastructure and mindset, to have delivered in excess of 5 per cent in net new money each year,” he said.

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“With reasonable market appreciation and some bolt-on acquisitions, our ambition is to double our AUM (assets under management) for the group,” he said.

Formica was speaking after the group posted a 14 per cent increase in the assets it manages for clients during 2013, much of which he attributed to a strategy focusing the business on retail clients, who, he said, were investing more.

Total assets under management were £75.2bn at the end of 2013, the company said, up from £65.6bn and buoyed by a £2.5bn net inflow from retail clients in the final quarter of the year.

Formica said inflows were continuing this current year, with investors becoming more confident as markets and economies recover after the financial crisis.

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Most in demand are property and equities, particularly in Europe where markets have recovered convincingly since the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.

Underlying profit before tax in 2013 was nearly 25 per cent higher than a year earlier at £190.1m, the company said.