Dow Jones Newswire

LONDON - Robert Fleming Holdings seeks to replace the U.S. retail fund management business that it ceded in its takeover by Chase Manhattan Corp., but that will take time, the U.K. investment bank's chief executive said Wednesday.

William Garrett said that with the backing of Chase's U.S. network and presence, the group will look to set up its own fund management offering.

"We're looking quite hard to grow in international fund management with Chase." But, he added, "it won't happen very rapidly."

Chase bought Flemings in April. That deal triggered a clause enabling T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. to buy out Flemings' stake in Rowe Price-Fleming, their U.S. retail fund management joint venture.

Mr. Garrett said Chase and Flemings will seek to establish a business that would offer "the same sort of products as Rowe Price-Fleming." These include specialist international funds and global sector funds, including global technology.

Flemings also reported Wednesday that pretax profit jumped fivefold for the year, prompted largely by acquisitions but also by the recovery in Asian markets. Flemings said just over 50% of the group's pretax profit for the year came from its Asian businesses.

Economies in the region were "expected to do well" again this year, Mr. Garrett said.

On the recent slump in technology stocks, he said: "It's going to be quite hard to do new issues for a while … but if markets stabilize, I'm sure deals can be done."

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