ING Group agrees to sell Baring Asset Management

ING Group has reached an agreement to sell the activities of Baring Asset Management as part of its ongoing strategy to actively manage its portfolio and focus on core businesses.

Under the agreement, U.S.-based MassMutual Financial Group will purchase the investment management activities of Baring Asset Management. The activities include about EUR 26 billion ($32 billion) in assets under management and a team of about 100 investment professionals operating from a network of 11 offices world-wide.

Northern Trust Corp., based in Chicago, will purchase Baring Asset Management’s Financial Services Group, which offers fund administration, custody and trust services. The business had about EUR 51 billion in funds under administration, EUR 23 billion in custody, and EUR 26 billion held in trust as of 30 September 2004. It operates from offices in London, Guernsey, Dublin, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

All of Baring Asset Management’s employees will transfer to the buyers, with 600 transferring to MassMutual and 770 to Northern Trust. David Brennan, Chairman and CEO of Baring Asset Management, will retain his responsibilities for the investment management activities to be acquired by MassMutual.

For ING Group, the sales will result in a net gain of about EUR 250 million at closing. It will also have a positive impact on ING’s debt/equity ratio of 80 basis points. The transactions are subject to applicable regulatory approvals and are expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2005.

Source: ING Group

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