“The industry will be in a consolidation phase for a few more years, and Ohman wants to have an active role as a buyer,” said Jamal Abida Norling, who became chief executive officer at Ohman Fonder in August. “At the same time, it’s important that the business suits us.”
In 2015, Ohman Group acquired DNB ASA’s Swedish fund and asset management operations, adding about SEK 41 billion in assets. Currently, Ohman Fonder oversees SEK 100 billion as part of Ohman, which traces its history back to 1906. It manages index funds as well as active pools of money focused on equities, fixed income and corporate bonds.
According to Abida Norling, the need for mergers in the sector has sprung from regulatory pressure that acted as a kind of catalyst for the consolidation.
“It’s not individual specific regulations, but rather the amount of regulations that require larger organizations to conduct asset management today,” he said. “This means that it’s harder for smaller managers to become profitable.”
While it’s difficult to give any exact figure for how many firms will be left on the Swedish scene once consolidation is done, “there will be significantly fewer companies than today,” Abida Norling said.