The speculation surrounding a funds management partner for ANZ has been resolved with the group announcing that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with ING to form a joint venture funds management and life insurance group.
The announcement ends months of industry and media conjecture in which a wide range of partners from BT Funds Management, AXA and Deutsche Asset Management were all slated to sign a deal with ANZ.
As part of the deal, ANZ will draw its funds management and insurance products from the joint venture, to be called ING Australia Limited, and outsource its investment management activities to ING Investment Management, which will purchase ANZ’s Asset Management business in Australia.
The joint venture business will operate on both sides of the Tasman and include ING’s Australian and New Zealand funds management and life insurance businesses and ANZ Investments.
ING would hold a majority stake of 51 per cent and ANZ will hold the remaining 49 per cent in the joint venture group, but both ING and ANZ say they would have equal say regarding the direction of the business.
The joint venture would manufacture, market and service products under the ING brand for distribution through ING’s professional adviser networks and under the ANZ brand for distribution through ANZ bank channels.
The joint venture would include the bulk of ANZ’s funds management and life insurance operations. It would also include all of ING’s funds management and life insurance operations, and most of its distribution operations.
The deal, however, does not cover ANZ’s distribution businesses or financial planners or that of Trustees and Lenders Mortgage Insurance. ING’s Australian general insurance interests and investment management, real estate, and banking operations would also be excluded.
The proposal is subject to due diligence, legal documentation and necessary regulatory approvals and both groups say they will make full announcements in early March.