Quilter was bought by Morgan Stanley in 2001 and then sold to Citigroup in 2006. The two investment banking giants then formed a joint venture, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, into which Quiliter was subsequently moved in 2008.
This is the latest transaction from the company’s €4.8bn Bridgepoint Europe IV fund which will benefit from Quilter’s £7.6bn in assets under management and takes on 350 staff across 13 offices throughout the UK, Jersey and Ireland. The full terms of the deal have not been disclosed but the sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year.
With any takeover there will be concerns over Quilter’s future business model and the potential for a restructure leading to job losses. Martin Baines, Quilter’s chief executive, was quick to state his case, saying: “Bridgepoint is very enthusiastic about our management team and our strategy for the firm. It is a tried and tested team that has been in place for many years in spite of changes of ownership.
”As an independent entity, we will have even more flexibility in how we operate. This is a vital attribute in a fast changing market, when the opportunities to meet the evolving needs of our clients and intermediaries call for greater agility and entrepreneurial thinking.”
He added that in the coming months the market can expect to hear announcements about developments in “efficiency, innovation and effectiveness”.
Bridgepoint’s history in investment management investing is limited to its acquisition of asset management firm Tilney in March 2005 that it subsequently sold to Deutsche Bank in December 2006 with 30% more funds under management and twice the profit level.