Evolution seals BNP Paribas deal

EVOLUTION, the investment bank and wealth group, yesterday sealed the takeover of £1.8bn in private client assets from BNP Paribas’ wealth management arm.

The new business will be absorbed into Evolution’s Williams de Broe wealth manager, taking its funds under management to £7.8bn, approaching its goal of building a £10bn-strong asset manager.

The deal is likely to increase Evolution’s attractiveness to its potential acquirer, Investec, which has made an early stage approach for the group and is eyeing the fast-growing Williams de Broe business.

However, the substantial additional assets could also push the price of the takeover higher.

Evolution is to pay £5m in cash for BNP Paribas’ private investment arm, which also includes a small US-focused brokerage but made an £8.8m pre-tax loss in the year to December, on revenues of £19.9m.

Alex Snow, Evolution’s chief executive, said the deal demonstrated the group’s ability to keep growing through acquisition.

“The Group continues to be extremely well capitalised with a strong and liquid balance sheet and no debt,” he said in a statement.