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M&A mania: 15 big wealth and fund management deals in 2013
by Elsa Buchanan on Dec 16, 2013 at 09:11
We take you through some of the eye-catching merger & acquisition activity of 2013.
January: BlackRock buys Credit Suisse’s ETF business
At the beginning of the year, Credit Suisse ran a 58-strong exchange traded fund (ETF) business with a total of $17.6 billion in assets under management.
The deal complemented BlackRock’s existing iShares arm and resulted in its ETF business swelling to 264 funds with $157.6 billion in assets under management based on end of 2012 figures.
At the time, BlackRock chairman Larry Fink commented: ‘The acquisition we are announcing today represents BlackRock’s continued commitment to the Swiss market and underpins the importance we place on meeting the needs of our clients.
‘This transaction keeps with BlackRock’s growth strategy in the region and provides the necessary scale and presence in the market to further enhance our product suite and deliver client solutions in Switzerland and all of Europe.’
February: Heartwood becomes subsidiary of Sweden's Handelsbanken
Swedish bank Handelsbanken gained a foothold in the UK wealth management market when it acquired Heartwood. Handelsbanken identified Heartwood's similar focus on long-term client relationships and high service as motives for the purchase.
At the time, former Wealth Manager cover star Simon Lough (pictured), who remained CEO of Heartwood, said: 'We were encountering Handelsbanken more and more frequently in our work with clients and quickly discovered the very close cultural fit between our organisations.'
He added: 'The Heartwood team has worked hard to build our business on the recommendation of clients we have served well, so partnership with Handelsbanken, which has grown on a very similar basis, is a very natural progression for our firm.'
Standard Life acquires Newton private client arm
The £83.5 million deal saw Standard Life Wealth triple its assets under management.
Newton's private client business had approximately 3,000 UK and international clients and a number of charity clients.All 79 Newton staff were transfered to Standard Life.
Richard Charnock, Standard Life Wealth chief executive commented: ‘This acquisition complements Standard Life Wealth’s impressive growth to date and provides us with a unique opportunity to accelerate our onshore and offshore strategy.
‘We are bringing together additional skills, clients and assets to create a discretionary wealth manager of significant scale and market presence.’
Other bidders for Newton were understood to have included Rathbones and Quilter.
March: Royal London acquired Co-op's life and funds arms
Royal London took over Co-operative Banking Group's life insurance and funds business in a £220 million after a protracted negotiation process that required the intervention of the regulator.
Royal London first announced the proposed acquisition in July 2011, but talks took more than 18 months to arrive at a binding agreement.
The provider's assets swelled from £50 billion to £70 billion, and the fund business included Citywire AAA-rated Michael Fox's CIS Sustainable Leaders and CIS Sustainable World Trust funds.
March: Schroders buys Cazenove Capital
Wealth Manager revealed Cazenove Capital and Schroders were locked in bid talks during the first quarter, with the deal completed in July in a £424 million deal.
At the time, Schroders, led by chief executive Michael Dobson, was looking to acquire the boutique after its star UK equity manager Richard Buxton and two other members of its UK equity team - Errol Francis and Ed Meier - quit for Old Mutual Global Investors, although the two events were not necessarily connected.
Dobson told the market: ''This transaction creates a leading, independent private banking and wealth management business in the UK, and brings additional investment talent in complementary strategies across UK and European equities, multi-manager and fixed income to asset management. I am confident the transaction will create long-term value and benefits for clients, shareholders and employees.'
Cazenove chief Andrew Ross added: 'This is a very exciting development for Cazenove Capital. In combining with Schroders, we will create a pre-eminent independent private banking and charities business in the UK, with a broader capability covering investment management, financial planning, deposit-taking and lending services. This is also an excellent fit for our wealth management businesses in the Channel Islands and Asia.
March: Legal & General snaps up Cofunds
The deal had been anticipated since 2011, however Legal & General agreed to acquire the remaining 75% share capital of Cofunds.
At the time, Legal & General said it believed internet solutions would be one of its key drivers of growth in the years ahead and that the agreement would give it the scale and distribution it needed in the investment platform market.
When unveiling the deal, Legal & General said assets under administration (AUA) in the platform space were set to double by 2017, with the acquisition of the UK's largest platform for financial services's £50 billion of AUA and a share of 22% of the market.
'Cofunds, alongside our existing platform Investor Portfolio Service, provides us with the scale and capability to be a major player in this important and growing market,' Mark Gregory, chief executive officer of savings at Legal & General commented at the time.
March: Credit Suisse bags Morgan Stanley's wealth business
Credit Suisse's acquisition of Morgan Stanley's European and Middle East wealth management businesses added $13 billion (£8.61 billion) worth of assets, and reinforced the bank's focus on the UK wealth management space.
The business was integrated into Credit Suisse’s Private Banking and Wealth Management division.
April: City Financial buys OPM Fund Management
Wealth Manager revealed City Financial was taking on OPM Fund Management and its fund range, worth some £75.2 million in assets, for an undisclosed sum.
As part of the deal, OPM fund manager Tony Yousefian joined City Financial alongside business development manager Richard Carswell.
The acquisition increased City Financial's overall retail assets under management to £420 million.
Ed Rosengarten, head of UK asset management at City Financial, told Wealth Manager the board of OPM had opted to sell after evaluating its business model following the introduction of the retail distribution review (RDR).
July: Miton Group buys Psigma AM
Miton Group's £2 billion in assets were boosted to around £2.8 billion following the deal. PSigma's total assets under management were £750 million at the end of June, with UK income mandates representing the bulk of these.
Ian Dighé, executive chair of Miton Group, said: 'Bringing Bill Mott and his team together with Miton is a significant step forward to the benefit of our joint client base, particularly in the UK equity income sector.
'Both businesses have distinctive and forward-looking investment strategies. With combined assets under management of £2.8 billion, we will have an even stronger platform to accelerate the growth of our business.'
July: Psigma IM acquires AXA Framlington’s private client business
Psigma Investment Management (PIM), which forms part of Punter Southall Group, took on the private client business and its £380 million in AUM as well as key staff including three portfolio managers, Rupert Hunter, Michael Firth and Jon Gould.
Announcing the agreement, John Howard-Smith (pictured), chief executive of PIM, said: 'It is our strategic ambition to become one of the UK’s leading private client investment managers and this acquisition takes us one step closer to our goal.
'Rupert, Michael and Jon bring a combined experience of over 50 years and this will be highly valuable to PIM as we continue to build on our ambitious growth strategy.'
August: Credit Suisse spins off Johim
J O Hambro Investment Management (Johim) officially spun out of Credit Suisse, following the completion of its acquisition by Bermuda National Limited (BNL) for an undisclosed sum.
Following the sale, Johim’s existing management continued to have autonomy over how the business is run, with management. At the end of June Johim had around £3.9 billion in assets under management.
At the time, Hugh Grootenhuis, chief executive of Johim, commented: 'To reflect the change in ownership, we are currently in the process of developing new branding, details of which we will announce shortly. There are no plans to change our people, business model or investment process.'
A week after officially spinning out of Credit Suisse Stephen Browne (pictured), director at Johim, told Wealth Manager how the firm was anticipating growth in its burgeoning international private client business.
September: Towry seals Bluefin deal
Towry took over Bluefin Personal Consulting (BPC) from AXA UK, its 1,500 clients, 19 advisers and 70 support staff. This was Towry's most notable acquisition since its takeover of Edward Jones in 2009.
Andrew Fisher (pictured), Towry's chief executive, said at the time: 'We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with BPC, whose advisers have demonstrated a strong track record in building trusted relationships with clients.
Towry's shopping spree didn't stop there though. Less than a month after the Bluefin acquisition, the firm announced it was also acquiring Aberdeenshire-based Conclusion Financial Planning.
The acquisition brought Towry a further 50 clients and £15 million in assets under advice.
November: Charles Stanley acquires Evercore Pan Asset
Pan Asset, which was co-founded by John Redwood (pictured), had £593 million assets under management, predominantly held in passive investment strategies.
Following the acquisition, the firm was integrated within Charles Stanley's funds division. At the time, Charles Stanley anticipated the integration would bring about cost savings, as it said Pan Asset had been operating near break even.The integration was expected to make it profitable straight away.
Charles Stanley director Mike Lilwall commented: 'The acquisition will complement the company’s existing distribution channels by broadening Charles Stanley’s expertise and product offering into the area of passives and in particular we foresee opportunities to enhance our increasing offering to the financial adviser market place.'
November: Aberdeen seals £550m Swip acquisition
After months of speculation, Aberdeen sealed one of 2013's most anticipated acquisitions.
The purchase, which added £136 billion to Aberdeen's client assets, was supported by the issue of 131.8 million new shares to Swip owner Lloyds, equivalent to 9.9% of current market cap, in addition to a £100 million payment conditional on five-year performance.
‘This transaction is significant for the long-term prospects of Aberdeen in a number of ways,’ said Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen chief executive.
‘We are confident that this transaction will deliver considerable additional value to our expanded client base and this will therefore benefit our shareholders.’
November: Permira beat rival bidders to buy Deutsche's Tilney business
Wealth Manager revealed private equity group Permira is set to buy Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management's Tilney business.
Although details are still unknown, Permira is in the final stages of talks to buy Deutsche's regional network and the bulk of the former Tilney business for an undisclosed sum.
Deutsche's UK wealth management business is expected to retain a presence in London alongside the portfolios it runs for ultra-high net worth clients.
The decision is understood to have been motivated by a desire to withdraw from the regions. The firm currently has offices in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Since Tilney was acquired in 2006 it has been largely loss-making for Deutsche, posting a £9.5 million pre-tax loss in 2012, following an £8.9 million loss in 2011. At the end of 2012 Tilney's assets stood at £4.6 billion.
It is understood that Brown Shipley was in the running until a late stage.
The news came shortly after Permira sealed a deal to buy Bestinvest.