Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Old Mutual, Africa’s biggest insurer, filed to sell shares of its US asset management division in New York, four years after the company said it was considering an initial public offering.

Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Credit Suisse will oversee the offering, Old Mutual said in a filing to the US Securities & Exchange Commission today.

The firm filed to sell as much as $100 million of shares in the offering, according to the document.

Chief executive Julian Roberts, 57, has been selling assets to pay down debt since he took over during the financial crisis of 2008.

In 2010, London-based Old Mutual sold its US life insurance operation for $350 million.

The US fund management unit accounts for about $203 billion of Old Mutual’s $506 billion of assets.

The operation is made up of seven different companies, including Acadian and Heitman, which offer equity and fixed-income investments.

Old Mutual rose 0.5 percent to 196.90 pence as of 1:28 pm in London trading. - Bloomberg News