Jamie Carr Columnist

It was that saucy little Capulet minx Juliet who came up with the idea that "parting is such sweet sorrow", and if she hadn’t topped herself she may well have used the line with reference to Old Mutual. Bruce Hemphill was brought in to play the role of not so grim a reaper, applying the last rites to the firm as we knew it and carving it into a more appropriate structure to grow, and its latest results announcement shows that considerable progress has been made. The break-up is on track to happen this year, and it’s likely to leave investors smiling, because unlike many a restructuring it’s being done at a time when the core businesses are in rude health. Adjusted operating profit was up 22%, driven largely by a cracking performance from its UK asset management business, which is to be listed separately under the Quilter brand. There remain a few regulatory hoops through which the business needs to jump, and the separation is expected to generate annual cost savings of about £95m. O...

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