U.K. Firm Picks Up Nationwide Active Asset Management Unit

Nationwide has agreed to sell its active asset management business to British fund firm Aberdeen Asset Management.

The Columbus, Ohio company said the active asset management unit is owned by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide Financial Services, Nationwide Fund Advisors, and Nationwide SA Capital Trust.

The transaction is expected to close and be effective on October 1, 2007. The Nationwide announcement did not include terms, but a Reuters news report quoted an unnamed source as saying Aberdeen had agreed to pay between $30 million and $35 million for the unit

According to a company announcement, portfolio managers, analysts, and support personnel are included in the transaction, as well as resources and technology. The group will continue operating at its current location in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia.

Nationwide said that immediately upon the closing, Aberdeen will sub-advise 21 Nationwide Mutual Funds and nine Nationwide Variable Insurance Trust Funds, representing about $7 billion in assets under management, as of August 31, 2007.

“This transaction is an important step in our efforts to transition our mutual fund business to a sub-advised platform,” said Mark R. Thresher, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Financial, in the news release.

“This transaction broadens Aberdeen’s U.S. operations with the addition of a highly regarded equities team” said Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen, in the announcement. “It continues our strategy of acquiring bolt-on businesses that enhance our product range and geographic reach, and complement the continuing strong organic growth of our existing operations.”