SocGen and Agricole to merge asset management units

Societe Generale and Credit Agricole have signed a final agreement to merge their asset management arms and create a top 10 global player with €591bn of assets under management.

The new company will be 75% owned by Credit Agricole and 25% owned by SocGen, the banks said in a statement after initially saying in January the split would be 70/30.

“The new entity (CAAM-SGAM) still includes 100% of the activities of the CAAM group, to which Societe Generale is bringing its fundamental investment activities, 20 percent of TCW and its joint-venture in India,” they said.

“However, on account of local regulatory constraints and agreements with partners, SGAM’s joint-ventures in China and Korea will not be contributed.”

Credit Agricole and SocGen said their combined asset management company would be the fourth-biggest in Europe in terms of assets under management and the eighth-biggest in the world.

The transaction remains subject to approval from regulatory authorities and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year.

“The next few months will be used to define the organization of the new entity to enable it to be fully operational for the 2010 fiscal year,” the banks said.

The SocGen/Credit Agricole deal is part of wider consolidation in the asset management industry as fund managers face a withdrawal of clients’ money and write-downs caused by the global financial crisis.

Reporting by James Regan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick