Deutsche Bank has halted plans to sell most of its asset management businesses to Guggenheim Partners and the two sides are now discussing only a potential deal for Rreef, the bank’s alternative assets arm.
Germany’s largest bank by assets had been in exclusive talks with the private US asset manager, which runs the investments of the Guggenheim family and foundation, to sell businesses with about €400bn of assets under management.
Deutsche stopped short of saying it had cancelled plans to sell the businesses, which included its US mutual fund business as well as institutional asset management and a unit focused on managing portfolios for insurers. “Deutsche Bank will continue to evaluate these businesses,” it said.
The suspension of the sale comes amid signs that asset management will play a key role in the strategy being drawn up by Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, who take over as Deutsche’s co-chief executives next month.
Mr Jain wants to get Deutsche’s wealth and asset management operations working more closely with its much larger investment bank.
Michele Faissola, a key executive reporting to Mr Jain in Deutsche’s investment bank, has been named to head a beefed-up asset and wealth management division, with a brief to improve the performance of a unit that analysts say has underperformed.
However, the bank, Europe’s largest by assets, was seen as lacking sufficient scale in some of its asset management businesses, at a time when new regulations were likely to increase running costs.
Since announcing a strategic review of asset management, Deutsche had appeared to want to offload all the businesses for sale to a single bidder. Rreef was the smallest of the units up for sale, with €49bn under management at the end of 2011.
The bank had already indicated it would hold on to its wealth management business as well as DWS, its mutual fund unit in its home German market.