Jupiter names George Osborne’s Robey Warshaw as bidding frenzy looms

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Jupiter Asset Management appoints George Osborne’s Robey Warshaw to bolster defenses against possible takeover bid as mergers frenzy grips City










Jupiter’s asset management has appointed Robey Warshaw to bolster its defenses against a possible takeover bid as a merging frenzy grips the City, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

The £ 61bn fund group, chaired by Edward Bonham Carter until the start of the year, has hired the blue-blooded investment banking boutique as an adviser.

It is understood that Robey Warshaw, who hired former Chancellor George Osborne as a partner in April, will help develop a strategy to protect Jupiter from predators as the bosses plan to improve the fund’s performance.

Strengthening defenses: Robey Warshaw hired former Chancellor George Osborne as an associate in April

The move comes amid growing speculation over City’s asset manager who will be the next acquisition target after a surge in activity in recent weeks.

It emerged last month that City mainstay Martin Gilbert was in a bidding war against Prime Minister Miton to acquire River and Mercantile. Last week, Liontrust revealed it had bought Majedie Asset Management for up to £ 120million in stock and cash.

UK business buyouts hit a 14-year high in the first seven months of 2021, according to Reuters. The value of transactions reached £ 149 billion, three times the same period a year earlier.

Jupiter, an FTSE250 company chaired by Nichola Pease, has seen its shares drop 16% this year – one of the worst performing listed funds and making it vulnerable to a takeover. Its market value is £ 1.3 billion.

An investment banker said Jupiter was on his target list and had had conversations with a private equity firm possibly interested in acquiring a group of funds.

Like many fund managers, Jupiter has seen investors withdraw their money because professional stock pickers have failed to achieve the best returns.

Jupiter has suffered nearly £ 5 billion in releases since last summer. Sources said that Matthew Beesley’s arrival as chief investment officer in January could pave the way for further cost cuts in a bid to get the fund group back in shape and support its share price, which is £ 2.34.

Analysts said the company may consider shutting down a number of small, underperforming investment funds, which could lead to job cuts.

Rae Maile, analyst at brokerage firm Panmure Gordon, said: “Historically, you would never have said that Jupiter was an offer story because of its boutique culture.

“But that’s no longer the case. This could be a wise acquisition for a large American house looking to expand into the UK. ‘

David McCann, analyst at brokerage Numis, said “a takeover is a growing possibility.”

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