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Rating:You've Just Sold Your 401k Recordkeeping Biz. What Are You Going to Do Next? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, July 6, 2015

You've Just Sold Your 401k Recordkeeping Biz. What Are You Going to Do Next?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

As he sells off one business, Barry McInerney is still open to buying others, but that's not his focus.

On June 26 BMO Global Asset Management [profile] unveiled a deal to sell its U.S. retirement plan recordkeeping business, BMO Retirement Services, to Midwestern insurer OneAmerica. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close this quarter. McInerney, co-CEO of global asset management for BMO, talks with MFWire about what's next for the Canadian multinational bank's asset management arm in the U.S.

"It's really business as usual ... This one transaction doesn't change things," McInerney tells MFWire. "It does allow us to provide additional focus ... It does allow us to focus our energies entirely on asset management. That's a key strategic priority for BMO in the U.S. and BMO globally."

Indeed, BMO GAM's AUM has risen 500 percent in the past five years to about $250 billion, through both organic growth and acquisitions.

"Clients are happy, client retention is high, and our performance is very strong ... We want to bring a global perspective to regional clients," McInerney says. "We've been expanding our distribution. We essentially doubled in the last 18 months in the U.S., in Canada" and will follow suit in Europe over the next year and a half.

Looking ahead, McInerney says he's focused on "executing on a very purposeful growth strategy globally." He left open the possibility of making more acquisitions, though he noted that BMO GAM has already done several deals in recent years.

"That really gives us a lot of runway" to focus on organic growth, both in the U.S. and around the world, McInerney says. "We're always looking for new opportunities going forward."

One area for organic growth in the U.S., McInerney says, is defined contribution investment-only, particularly now that BMO is leaving the U.S. retirement plan recordkeeping business and thus not competing with other recordkeepers that its DC I-O folks would partner with.

"DC I-O is clearly an important channel for all of us," McInerney says. "We'll continue to monitor it." 

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