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Durban - After six years at the helm of old Mutual Asset Management (Omam), Peter Bain has decided to step down from as president, chief executive and director.

Bain, who has held the roles since 2011, will be replaced by the current chairman of the Omam board of directors James Ritchie on an interim basis. Ritchie will serve as both executive chairman and chief executive while the company is still searching for a new chief.

Ritchie said in paying tribute to Bain: “Peter has successfully accomplished his mission. He has delivered on his mandates to reshape the business, develop the leadership team, and achieve the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which has enabled Old Mutual to substantially achieve its stated objective of exiting its ownership of the business,” said Ritchie.

In the past 17 months, Old Mutual has been announcing changes to the way it is going to run its business in the future.

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In November 2015, Old Mutual’s chief executive Bruce Hemphill announced a strategic review that will be completed in 2018.

The strategy involved separating its business into four entities: Old Mutual Emerging Markets (Omem), Nedbank, Old Mutual Wealth and Omam, to create more shareholder value.

The group said it decided that the long-term interests of the group’s shareholders and other stakeholders would be best served by Old Mutual separating the four businesses.

Ritchie added that Omam was now at a positive inflection point with great momentum, and the board and Bain believe it was the right time to position the company for its next stage of sustained growth.

Transaction

In May, Old Mutual said it would sell its 24.95percent shareholding in Omam to HNA Capital US in a two-step transaction for gross cash consideration of about $446million (R5.84 billion).

Bain said he was very pleased with what Omam had achieved over the past six years.

“We restructured the business to focus on affiliates with high growth potential, became a public company, completed a successful new affiliate acquisition and executed the sell-down process for Old Mutual. I am happy to hand over the business in good shape and want to thank my team for their dedication and support in our drive to create a great company.”

Ritchie said Omam would build on a solid foundation laid for the business in Bain’s tenure. “This succession process comes at a time of strength for the company. Now that Old Mutual has substantially exited its position in the company, we will find the right person to best lead the business through its next phase of long-term growth.

“The end goal remains the same: a scale, diversified and profitable multi-boutique asset management firm with significant earnings growth that delivers substantial value to our shareholders,” said Ritchie.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE