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Jupiter denies shift to M&A as dealmaker Formica takes reins

Jupiter denies shift to M&A as dealmaker Formica takes reins

The departure of Maarten Slendebroek as Jupiter CEO ‘will not change’ the company’s strategy, a spokesperson for the business has said.

Slendebroek (pictured), who was CEO for five years and at the company for six, has been replaced by Andrew Formica, who left the merged Janus Henderson group last summer.

Jupiter has remained on the sidelines of a consolidation battle in asset management, instead investing in distribution and product diversity as it pursued a successful strategy of organic growth. 

While it would be unfair to narrowly define Formica as a buyout specialist, a programme of targeted and calculated acquisitions was a key plank of his strategy during a decade in charge of Henderson, culminating with one of the largest mergers in asset management history as the business combined with Janus.   

The spokesperson said: ‘It’s not changing – there is no suggestion of that at the moment. In terms of strategy, Andrew is very supportive of the organic growth of which we’re on the record as being very supportive of. That’s how the business has grown under Maarten and that’s supported by Andrew.

‘That’s something that Andrew believes in and this performance-focused culture is something Andrew believes in.’

Jupiter said the three key strands to its diversification strategy are diversification by geographies, client type and product development.

The last five years have seen the company develop its multi-asset, global emerging markets and fixed income franchises.

The spokesperson pointed out that Jupiter has enjoyed £5.8 billion of cumulative inflows to the end of 2018 under Slendebroek 's stewardship and £5.5 billion of that sum came from outside the traditional UK market.

The outside view

However, Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, said Jupiter’s strategy could well change to a more acquisition-based approach familiar to Formica.

He said: 'Andrew has been CEO of a big business for many years. He has a track record of growing business through acquisitions, having purchased and successfully integrated New Star then Gartmore, and finally merging Henderson with Janus.

'Can we expect his ‘buy and build’ approach at Jupiter? Quite possibly. Jupiter has a number of fund managers who have been with the company for many years, very successfully managing money for clients.

'Key for me, as a fund buyer, will be maintaining stability within the investment team through any future period of change.’

McDermott praised Slendebroek for expanding Jupiter from a UK boutique to an international ‘super-boutique’.

The outgoing CEO told the board that he was ready to step back in a couple of years’ time, but Formica’s appointment was accelerated due to his availability.

The spokesperson said: ‘Maarten indicated a desire to step back in a couple of years’ time or so. It’s a dialogue that’s ongoing and you have to think about succession planning, which was accelerated after the board identified Andrew as in the market and readily available.

‘The board believes Andrew is the right candidate to take us over the next stage of development. The timetable was brought forward and Maarten was most gracious about that. . Everyone has acted in Jupiter’s best interests.

‘It’s very rare to find a CEO readily available. From that perspective it was opportunistic and attractive to the board, given Andrew’s experience.’

 

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