The investment house last week put in a bid for its rival, thought to be worth in excess of £100m, as part of a process that could see the business snapped up within weeks.

Other rivals – Neptune Investment Management, Henderson and at least one private equity player – are thought to have made indicative proposals, along with Schroders, prior to last week's deadline.

Aberdeen, the investment house that became Britain's biggest fund manager when it bought Credit Suisse's asset management division two weeks ago, is also interested in the sale process, which is being handled by bankers at UBS. Hellman & Friedman, the private equity group that owns Gartmore, is another potential bidder.

Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent