17 OCTOBER 2001

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Rothschild Asset Management’s rebuttal

Rothschild Asset Management yesterday refuted an article carried in London’s Sunday Times, which was consequently referred to by this newspaper. The article alleged that the asset management arm had been adversely hit by the recent weakness of the world’s stock markets. It was also reported that the blow taken by the investment arm of the Rothschild banking family was leading it into a potentially painful strategic review that could lead it to being put up for sale in the near future.

Speaking to the Malta Financial and Business Times yesterday, RAM Managing Director Robin Fuller explained that, given RAM’s unique status of being one of the few remaining independent asset management companies, it will always be subject to some form of speculation.

He adds that the article that appeared in the London Sunday Times is illustrative of the speculative comments made about the company from time to time, which reflect their position on the market.

Mr Fuller elaborates, "The article was oddly timed given the renewed commitment our shareholder has made to RAM with the re-launch of our retail ‘Five Arrows’ brand. Our shareholder remains firmly behind our current long term growth strategy.

"I would point out that the history of both our shareholders’ family, and the company that bears its name is renowned for both its integrity and long-term perspective of the financial services business.

"This commitment and long term view is extended to Valletta Fund Management, our joint venture partner (Bank of Valletta) and our customers in Malta.

"Innovation and service are two of the characteristics which have served the company and its customers well in the past and on which the company’s current long-term growth strategy is based."

Rothschild Asset Management, which manages some GBP27 billion, currently owns 40 per cent of Malta’s first fund management firm – VFM - with Bank of Valletta holding the remaining 60 per cent.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt