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Clearance for UBIM sale by end June Back  
Sales of standalone investment management companies have been rare in Ireland. The Ulster Bank Investment Managers sale was the largest so far.
Ulster Bank Group expect to secure regulatory approval from the Central Bank for the sale of its fund management division, Ulster Bank Investment Managers (UBIM), to the Belgian KBC Group by June 30, according to Mr Paddy McMahon, chief executive of Ulster Bank Capital Markets.

He told Finance: ‘Subsequent to the announcement we believe the deal has been very well received in the market place. We are confident that approval will be a very straightforward process and should be obtained by the end of June.’

The sale price was agreed at E105 million, but excludes dividends of E11 million, which will be retained by the vendor. UBIM will begin trading under the KBC Asset Management banner once approval has been secured.

The deal on the Ulster Bank side was handled by a team headed by Paddy McMahon and included UBIM chief executive Mr Gavin Caldwell, Ms Emer Finnan from NCB corporate finance and ultimately group chief executive Mr Martin Wilson.

UBIM will continue to operate out of Georges Quay for the next 12 months at least and none of the 73 employees will lose their job. However, Paddy McMahon expects the new company to seek larger premises thereafter to accommodate their expansion plans.

McMahon stressed that Ulster Bank is not getting out of personal investment products and services. He said: ‘We continue to have interests in this particular area. There is a private clients operation in NCB. And very relevantly, we continue our own personal investment in high net worth individuals. We will continue to offer a full range of services to the retail distribution arm, which is a very important and fast growing business.’

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