‘Consolidation’ climbs up the corporate agenda
Evidence of consolidation in the UK financial services sector, as well as more broadly across Europe, has been on the rise steadily for the last 12 months, and according to a note from Numis on 10th June it’s set to move up the corporate agenda.
In particular, asset management firms have been exposed to ongoing pressure to meet profit expectations against the backdrop of challenging political and economic circumstances. What’s more, organic growth has been increasingly difficult – as reported by whole range of European investment outlets.
The focus though is not just on those seeking to make acquisitions, but also those identified as targets.
Having a strong brand name and market leading position have become attractive qualities, turning leading industry names (e.g., Jupiter Asset Management and Henderson Global Investors) into possible, and indeed reported acquisition targets.
As consolidation talks continue and rumours circulate around potential targets, the spotlight has been shone on shifts in ownership as foreign companies look to acquire UK targets and vice versa, giving rise to the inevitable question marks over the repercussions for employees, clients and stakeholders. This is understandably causing much debate, not least also with the EU referendum result now less than 24 hours away.
It’s not just the institutional asset management industry in which we’re witnessing consolidation in either. Examples can be seen across the private wealth management sector as well, reported on widely in the media since the start of last year.
The most recent example being Liechtenstein’s LGT Group acquiring a majority stake in Vestra Wealth, the London-based wealth management boutique in March this year – just the latest evidence of growing international interest in UK wealth managers.
As consolidation continues unabated and moves up the corporate agenda, communications teams will have an increasingly crucial role to play in managing stakeholder perceptions.
The perception of a firm’s growth plans, areas of strategic activity and performance will all impact how it is viewed as an acquisition target.
Whether seeking to position itself as a possible target, ward off acquisitive advances from other companies, or indeed manage the process of internal and external reputation pre, during and post-acquisition as the acquirer or acquired, the execution of considered, effective PR is vital to ensuring that all stakeholder groups are kept on side.