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Aberdeen rejected tie-up plan with fund manager Ignis

A TIE-up between two of Scotland's most important fund management businesses, Ignis Asset Management and Aberdeen Asset Management, was mooted last year but the north-east investment giant stopped short of making a bid.

The Herald understands that Aberdeen did take a look at Glasgow-based Ignis before rejecting a move.

It is also understood that Ignis's owner, closed insurance funds specialist Phoenix, has no formal sales process in place.

However, Phoenix has £2.5 billion of debt, some of which matures next year. The sale of Ignis could reduce the strain on its balance sheet.

Aberdeen, which employs 300 people in Scotland out of a global workforce of around 2000, has grown through astute purchases. It currently manages assets of £187.2bn.

Ignis, previously known as Resolution Asset Management and before that Britannic, has undergone a series of strategy changes as well as names.

It has also established large sales and marketing functions in London and some key teams, such as its highly regarded bonds team, are now based in England. However, it retains 245 employees in Glasgow, with 140 in London.

Ignis manages around £68.7bn, the vast bulk of which are from Phoenix life funds that are running off.

Phoenix and Aberdeen declined to comment.

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