Bain leaves Old Mu­tual on course

Bows out af­ter achiev­ing strate­gic ob­jec­tive

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Sandile Mchunu

AF­TER six years at the helm of old Mu­tual As­set Man­age­ment (Omam), Peter Bain has de­cided to step down from as pres­i­dent, chief ex­ec­u­tive and di­rec­tor.

Bain, who has held the roles since 2011, will be re­placed by the cur­rent chair­man of the Omam board of di­rec­tors James Ritchie on an in­terim ba­sis. Ritchie will serve as both ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive while the com­pany is still search­ing for a new chief.

Ritchie said in pay­ing trib­ute to Bain: “Peter has suc­cess­fully ac­com­plished his mis­sion. He has de­liv­ered on his man­dates to reshape the busi­ness, de­velop the lead­er­ship team, and achieve the com­pany’s list­ing on the New York Stock Ex­change (NYSE), which has en­abled Old Mu­tual to sub­stan­tially achieve its stated ob­jec­tive of ex­it­ing its own­er­ship of the busi­ness,” said Ritchie.

In the past 17 months, Old Mu­tual has been an­nounc­ing changes to the way it is go­ing to run its busi­ness in the fu­ture.

In Novem­ber 2015, Old Mu­tual’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Bruce Hem­phill an­nounced a strate­gic re­view that will be com­pleted in 2018.

The strat­egy in­volved sep­a­rat­ing its busi­ness into four en­ti­ties: Old Mu­tual Emerg­ing Mar­kets (Omem), Ned­bank, Old Mu­tual Wealth and Omam, to cre­ate more share­holder value.

The group said it de­cided that the long-term in­ter­ests of the group’s share­hold­ers and other stake­hold­ers would be best served by Old Mu­tual sep­a­rat­ing the four busi­nesses.

Ritchie added that Omam was now at a pos­i­tive in­flec­tion point with great mo­men­tum, and the board and Bain be­lieve it was the right time to po­si­tion the com­pany for its next stage of sus­tained growth.

Trans­ac­tion

In May, Old Mu­tual said it would sell its 24.95 per­cent share­hold­ing in Omam to HNA Cap­i­tal US in a two-step trans­ac­tion for gross cash con­sid­er­a­tion of about $446 million (R5.84 bil­lion).

Bain said he was very pleased with what Omam had achieved over the past six years.

“We re­struc­tured the busi­ness to fo­cus on af­fil­i­ates with high growth po­ten­tial, be­came a pub­lic com­pany, com­pleted a suc­cess­ful new af­fil­i­ate ac­qui­si­tion and ex­e­cuted the sell-down process for Old Mu­tual. I am happy to hand over the busi­ness in good shape and want to thank my team for their ded­i­ca­tion and sup­port in our drive to cre­ate a great com­pany.”

Ritchie said Omam would build on a solid foun­da­tion laid for the busi­ness in Bain’s ten­ure. “This suc­ces­sion process comes at a time of strength for the com­pany. Now that Old Mu­tual has sub­stan­tially ex­ited its po­si­tion in the com­pany, we will find the right per­son to best lead the busi­ness through its next phase of long-term growth.

“The end goal re­mains the same: a scale, di­ver­si­fied and profitable multi-bou­tique as­set man­age­ment firm with sig­nif­i­cant earn­ings growth that de­liv­ers sub­stan­tial value to our share­hold­ers,” said Ritchie.

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