US broker in search for UK asset managers

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The Independent Online

American broker Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) is believed to be running the rule over a host of asset management companies in the UK in a bid to boost its presence in Europe.

The firm, which lost a third of its staff in the 9/11 attacks, operates stockbroking and investment banking divisions in London but its asset management business is only in New York.

"The firm has been in London since July 2004 and has built a decent reputation," said a source. "It makes sense to look for an asset management operation in London. Certainly fund managers are cheap at the moment."

According to the London subsidiary's latest set of filed accounts, which relate to the year to the end of 2006, the business turned a profit of £859,269 based on a turnover of nearly £26m.

The firm had some unwanted publicity in 2000 when Jim McDermott, its former chairman, was jailed for passing information to his porn star girlfriend.