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Old Mutual Reportedly Planning to Split Into Several Units, The Company Stated It's Considering All Options

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(Credit: Harry Engels/Getty Images) LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: A replay screen is seen at the launch of the 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium on December 2, 2015 in London, England.2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series Launch
March 7
8:33 AM 2016

International banking group Old Mutual managing around £320 billion of assets globally has been rumored to plan to break itself into several units. The South Africa-based group has responded to the speculations, stating that they are considering all options for a strategic review but so far no definite decision has been made.

The strategic review was first initiated by the company's new Chief Executive Bruce Hemphill when he took the helmet on November 2015. Even without breaking to different business units, Old Mutual has already been covering various banking activities, including investment, savings, insurance, asset management, emerging markets operation, and sponsoring.

The Old Mutual Wealth unit has received a takeover approach from private equity firms, as reported by the BBC, citing unnamed sources. The unit is also a sponsor of England rugby union. The group also has a majority stake in South African lender Nedbank, and the Johannesburg-based bank said that it had been engaging collaboratively with Old Mutual on its strategic review process.

Even though the company has confirmed that they have not reached a decision regarding the strategic review, Sky News is among some media that argued the company is indeed planning to split itself into standalone companies. The media reported that the standalone companies would be its stake in Nedbank, its wealth unit focused on the UK, its emerging markets operation based in South Africa, and its institutional asset management business, which includes its remaining stake in the US-listed division.

Old Mutual has been under pressure as it is being affected by the weakening of African currencies. Concerns over emerging markets have also been negatively impacted the company. That had cost the company a 15 percent drop in shares in the past year. However, according to EveningStandard, the group's shares jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after the company statement came out that they are considering all options for an overhaul of the firm.

In the statement, Old Mutual also specified that they will provide an update on the strategic review on Friday. That is also the day that Old Mutual is due to announce its preliminary results for 2015. The group currently has more than 17.5 million customers and employs more than 60,000 people globally, with a market value of £8.8 billion.

Giant banking group Old Mutual denied that they will definitely split into several business units, saying that all options are being considered. However, many believe that the group will opt for it as a result of the strategic review started last year. 

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