OMGI chief outlines growth plans

Old Mutual Global Investors’ (OMGI) Julian Ide has outlined ambitions to propel the group into the UK’s top five asset managers within 3-5 years, after making a slew of new appointments.

Mr Ide said the firm has now hired roughly 21 new members of staff – in sales, communications, product, compliance, business strategy and finance roles – as part of plans to aggressively promote the new recently merged OMGI entity.

The OMGI sales team has been split into a “client segment” focused approach, with clear targets for sales to each type of client base, where the team did not have specific areas of coverage before, he said.

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He also revealed that former Skandia Investment Group chief financial officer Marc Bulstrode left in December to join Fidelity, to be replaced by former Old Mutual Asset Managers chief financial officer Mitchell Dean.

“We are going to continue to focus on investment performance but the thing that has really changed is the sales team,” Mr Ide said.

“We took a pretty tough look at that sales team and clearly needed to make it much more client focused. We have made a lot of changes and reinvigorated the team and now have a complete UK sales team in place.”

Mr Ide took over as chief executive at OMGI when it was formed of the merger of Old Mutual Asset Managers, of which Mr Ide was formerly chief executive, and Skandia Investment Group last year.

The firms’ parent group, insurance giant Old Mutual, merged the asset managers as part of wider integration plans which will also see the Skandia platform rebranded. A total of 30 roles were cut as part of the asset management integration.

OMGI is now a London-headquartered asset manager with roughly £14bn under management, which would rank it 20th in the UK according to the most recent IMA data.

Other staff have also been retasked across the wider group, such as James Millard, former SIG chief investment officer, who started a new role on January 1 within an investment solutions group at the wider Skandia business.

Mr Ide said the company had deliberately refocused its distribution team in a bid to boost sales to IFAs and make a stronger play for the discretionary fund management market.

“If we are to be a top five player in the marketplace in three to five years’ time we will have to have some pretty good sales numbers to achieve that,” he said.

“It is not going to be good enough to be number 15 or 10. We are pretty ambitious in terms of sales.”

He said the wider Old Mutual Wealth group, which also includes the Skandia platform and other distribution entities, would play a major role in boosting the asset management unit to the UK’s top five.

The shift to splitting the OMGI sales team into separate client segment groups comes after the group made a similar move on the platform sales team last year.