By Mathieu Rosemain
PARIS (Reuters) – French investment company Wendel said on Thursday it will build an asset management division for outside investors in a move aimed at boosting its profitability.
The new venture is the first strategic decision by CEO Laurent Mignon, who recently took over the reins of the family-controlled firm after having led BPCE, France’s second-biggest bank.
It would add a layer of business to a company better known for its private equity investments and for being the No. 1 investor in Bureau Veritas, the French certification and verification services company.
Mignon said Wendel was ready to hire new people and make acquisitions to shape the asset management branch.
“This development will take place over time, but we won’t refrain from acquiring skills, teams or even structures, if necessary, to speed it up,” Mignon told reporters in a call.
He declined to elaborate on the size he was aiming at for the business, either in terms of number of employees or total assets under management.
Wendel has around 10 billion euros in assets under management. It said that it planned to invest 2 billion euros in assets over the next two years.
The firm reported a 10.7% rise in consolidated revenue on an underlying basis for 2022 to 8.7 billion euros. However, net income fell 26% to 1.02 billion euros, mainly due to the deconsolidation of telecommunications infrastructure provider IHS Towers following its listing on the stock market in 2021, which generated 913 million euros in gains then, Wendel said.
Wendel is controlled by the Wendel family, one of France’s foremost business dynasties.
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Susan Fenton)