MRO Magazine

GE to Explore Sale of GE Asset Management to Another Leading Investment Management Firm


September 10, 2015
By Business Wire News

FAIRFIELD, Conn.

GE [NYSE:GE] today announced it will explore opportunities to sell GE Asset Management (GEAM) – the Company’s asset management arm – to another leading investment management firm. GE will seek buyers that possess considerable experience managing retirement plan assets, as well as scale and broad distribution capabilities to support continued growth of GEAM’s third-party client base.

An independent fiduciary will be appointed to review the transaction. The independent fiduciary will approve the asset manager that will be engaged to manage the assets related to GE’s primary benefit plans currently managed by GEAM, including the GE pension plan. GE will retain responsibilities as plan sponsor and fiduciary for these plans following the sale. Net sale proceeds from the transaction will be deposited into the GE Pension Trust, increasing trust assets used to pay GE pension plan benefits.

As part of the transaction, the buyer will separately assume responsibility for the management of GEAM’s third-party client asset base, subject to client consents.

“GE Asset Management has world-class investment capabilities and an experienced, talented team that has done a terrific job managing assets for benefit plans serving GE employees and retirees, as well as other investors,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “Over time, there has been significant interest from premier investment firms in acquiring GEAM, reflecting its reputation and attractiveness to others in the asset management industry. As we continue to transform GE to focus on our industrial core, now is the right time to explore such a sale.”

Dmitri Stockton, Chairman, President and CEO of GEAM, said, “GE Asset Management offers a unique value proposition to potential buyers as one of the few in-house managers of company benefit plan assets that has also built a robust external client base. Our firm is well positioned for continued growth, with valuable expertise in areas including outsourced CIO/total plan management, active management, alternative assets, asset allocation, manager selection, risk management, and fiduciary governance. By combining our business with that of another leading asset manager with scale and expanded distribution, we will strengthen our ability to build enhanced client relationships. In addition, this deal will create an opportunity to set a new standard for outsourced CIO management of benefit plan assets, while also providing GE with even more investment choices.”

It is anticipated that the buyer will acquire both GEAM’s assets and team, with the exception of a small number of GEAM employees who will remain with GE to provide investment oversight of GE’s primary benefit plans.

Throughout this process, GEAM will maintain its commitment to fulfilling all of its obligations to its clients. GEAM expects no impact to its ability to provide strong investment performance and service to investors going forward.

The potential sale will not change the benefits received by participants in the GE pension plan (or any affiliate pension plan), and does not change GE’s requirement to meet its pension funding obligations.

GE will be represented in the transaction by Credit Suisse. The deal is subject to any and all customary and regulatory approvals.

GEAM is a wholly owned subsidiary of GE, separate from GE Capital.

About GE Asset Management

A wholly owned subsidiary of GE, GE Asset Management Incorporated (GEAM) is a global asset manager with $115 billion in assets under management (as of June 30, 2015). GEAM and its predecessor organizations have been managing investments for GE’s U.S. pension and other benefit plans for over 80 years. Today GEAM manages portfolios for global clients in all major asset classes, including U.S. and international equities, fixed income and alternative assets. Client assets are invested side-by-side with the corresponding GE benefit plan portfolios and managed by the same investment professionals, aligning GEAM’s interests with those of its clients.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com

GE’s Investor Relations website at www.ge.com/investor and our corporate blog at www.gereports.com, as well as GE’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts, including @GE_Reports, contain a significant amount of information about GE, including financial and other information for investors. GE encourages investors to visit these websites from time to time, as information is updated and new information is posted.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

This document contains “forward-looking statements” – that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” “will,” “would,” or “target.” Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about our announced plan to reduce the size of our financial services businesses, including expected cash and non-cash charges associated with this plan; expected income; earnings per share; revenues; organic growth; margins; cost structure; restructuring charges; cash flows; return on capital; capital expenditures, capital allocation or capital structure; dividends; and the split between Industrial and GE Capital earnings. For us, particular uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements include: obtaining (or the timing of obtaining) any required regulatory reviews or approvals or any other consents or approvals associated with our announced plan to reduce the size of our financial services businesses; our ability to complete incremental asset sales as part of that plan in a timely manner (or at all) and at the prices we have assumed; changes in law, economic and financial conditions, including interest and exchange rate volatility, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets, including the impact of these conditions on our ability to sell or the value of incremental assets to be sold as part of our announced plan to reduce the size of our financial services businesses as well as other aspects of that plan; the impact of conditions in the financial and credit markets on the availability and cost of GECC’s funding, and GECC’s exposure to counterparties; the impact of conditions in the housing market and unemployment rates on the level of commercial and consumer credit defaults; pending and future mortgage loan repurchase claims and other litigation claims in connection with WMC, which may affect our estimates of liability, including possible loss estimates; our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so; the adequacy of our cash flows and earnings and other conditions which may affect our ability to pay our quarterly dividend at the planned level or to repurchase shares at planned levels; GECC’s ability to pay dividends to GE at the planned level, which may be affected by GECC’s cash flows and earnings, financial services regulation and oversight, and other factors; our ability to convert pre-order commitments/wins into orders; the price we realize on orders since commitments/wins are stated at list prices; customer actions or developments such as early aircraft retirements or reduced energy demand and other factors that may affect the level of demand and financial performance of the major industries and customers we serve; the effectiveness of our risk management framework; the impact of regulation and regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks, including the impact of financial services regulation and litigation; adverse market conditions, timing of and ability to obtain required bank regulatory approvals, or other factors relating to us or Synchrony Financial that could prevent us from completing the Synchrony Financial split-off as planned; our capital allocation plans, as such plans may change including with respect to the timing and size of share repurchases, acquisitions, joint ventures, dispositions and other strategic actions; our success in completing, including obtaining regulatory approvals for, announced transactions, such as the proposed transactions and alliances with Alstom, Appliances and our announced plan to reduce the size of our financial services businesses, and our ability to realize anticipated earnings and savings; our success in integrating acquired businesses and operating joint ventures; the impact of potential information technology or data security breaches; and the other factors that are described in “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. These or other uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements.We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

Media:
GE Asset Management:
Chris Linehan, 203-708-3193
chris.linehan@ge.com
or
GE:
Seth Martin, 203-572-3567
seth.martin@ge.com