Lovells helps ING to say final farewell to Barings

Lovells has advised longstanding client ING on the sale of Baring Asset Management 10 years after helping the Dutch financial services giant to buy the business.

When ING stepped in to rescue Barings in 1995, private equity partner Marco Compagnoni donated the princely sum of £1 that ING paid to buy the defunct investment banking business.

The sale of Baring Asset Management, which completed on 31 March, has resulted in ING’s links with the Barings brand being completely severed.

Baring Asset Management’s Financial Services Group, with approximately €53bn (£36.26bn) in funds under administration, €25bn (£17.1bn) in custody, and €25bn (£17.1bn) held in trust, went to Chicago-based Clifford Chance client Northern Trust for £260m.

Meanwhile, MassMutual, advised by Slaughter and May partner Paul Olney, acquired the fund management business for an undisclosed sum.

The Lovells team was led by partner Simon MacDonagh, with assistance from senior associate Malcolm MacDougall.

MacDougall said: “The deal was pretty complicated because the investment management arm was the biggest customer of the fund administration business. ING was therefore keen to have both deals signed and then completed on the same date to avoid uncertainty.”

The lion’s share of ING’s own account work has been farmed out to Lovells. The City firm’s Hong Kong office advised ING on the disposal of the group’s Asian equities business. Last year, Lovells also advised ING on the sale of Baring Private Equity Partners.