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Asset management M&A: the biggest stories of 2017

This year's mergers and acquisition activity all in one place

This year's mergers and acquisition activity, all in one place

Not so long ago, a merger between two fund firms the size of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life would have been near unthinkable.

But the remorseless logic of scale efficiencies has ensured that mass-market generalists need to focus on obtaining global, not local, reach.

As the industry continues to consolidate, we present the year in M&A.

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This year's mergers and acquisition activity, all in one place

Not so long ago, a merger between two fund firms the size of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life would have been near unthinkable.

But the remorseless logic of scale efficiencies has ensured that mass-market generalists need to focus on obtaining global, not local, reach.

As the industry continues to consolidate, we present the year in M&A.

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Standard Life and Aberdeen merge

Agreed in March and finalised in August, the £11 billion merger is by any metric the biggest in UK fund management history

Standard Life Aberdeen, now one of the world's largest investment companies, has £670 billion in assets under administration, more than 1,000 investment professionals across offices in 50 cities worldwide and services clients in 80 countries.

 

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Janus Henderson mega-merger

It took seven months for the 'merger of equals' to complete but it finally happened in May.

The new company has around $331 billion (£257 billion) in assets under management, a combined market capitalisation of $6 billion and is expected to deliver $110 million in cost synergies.

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Old Mutual makes several small acquisitions

Old Mutual Wealth (OMW) created a Birmingham office by acquiring two firms in the region in March and another in Shropshire the following month.

Premier Planning and Premier Wealth (Premier) had combined assets under advice of £170 million while the third purchase, Infiniti, provided financial advice to some 700 households and had around £230 million in assets under advice.

In September OMW also bought Cumbria-based IFA Dodd Murray, adding £205 million in assets under advice. 

Company accounts for the year to December 2016 show that the firm spent £8 million on acquiring firms last year.

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Invesco makes two major ETF buys

Already the fourth largest exchange traded fund (ETF) business in the world, Invesco saw its sector assets climb to more than $196 billion (£145 billion) globally after making two major buys.

In April the firm sealed a deal to buy ETF firm Source for a rumoured $500 million. The transaction included approximately $18 billion worth of Source assets and some $7 billion in externally managed assets under management.

 It went on to buy Guggenheim Investments' $36.7 billion ETF business for $1.2 billion in cash.

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Crux acquires Oriel Asset Management

Crux in early January made its first acquisition since launch in 2014, buying Oriel Asset Management for an undisclised sum.

As a result Oriel's £25 million Global fund. its £12 million European fund and the £52 million UK funds will moved under the Crux umbrella.

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Tilney acquires Midas' wealth business

Tilney swooped on Manchester-based Midas Investment Management’s £162 million book of assets in August, for an undisclosed amount.

The book of business comprises a combination of discretionary, advisory and execution-only accounts, as well as Midas’ IHT relief portfolio management service.

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M&G and Prudential investment arms merge

Prudential announced plans to merge its M&G Investment funds arm with its Prudential UK and Europe (UK&E) businesses in August.

The firm described the new division, M&G Prudential, as a savings and investment business focused on meeting growing customer demand for comprehensive financial solutions.

The business will control some £332 billion in assets with over six million customers. 

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Sanlam acquires Tavistock Financial

The firm completed the acquisition of Cheltenham-based Tavistock Financial in October.

When announced in August, the acquisition was said to cost £1 million, although a final sum has not been disclosed.

The deal adds 158 financial advisers to the Sanlam network and £1.5 billion to its existing £13 billion of assets under advice. Another 25 support staff along with 60 financial planners will also be added to Sanlam UK's payroll.

 

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Coram AM buys specialist discretionary fund manager

The firm acquired 26-year-old specialist discretionary fund manager Minerva Fund Managers for an undisclosed sum in June.

The acquisition aimed to help Coram expand its offering into the model portfolio market and add Minerva's socially responsible investing capabilities.

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Progeny group acquires two firms

In March, Neil Moles' Leeds-based Progeny Group acquired wealth management firm Quaran and seven months later it went on to buy  Chestergate Financial Planning.

Both companies have offices in London and were bought for an undisclosed amounts.

Progeny, which was founded in 2016, has already said it has agreed terms on three more acquisitions in the new year, in Leeds, Manchester and London.

 

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AFH Financial makes trio of acquisitions

Granville Bates, Johnson Birkett and G-Force Financial, based in the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and Cheshire respectively, became part of AFH for a combined £1.9 million.

The acquisitions, realised in July, are expected to contribute an aggregate of approximately £500,000 of recurring revenue to the company.

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SEI acquires family office tech firm

The investment services and processing firm acquired Archway Technology Partners for an undisclosed sum in July.

The purchase gives SEI, which oversees $779 billion (£602 billion) in assets, access to the $7 trillion global family-office market.

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Thesis makes DFM buy

Thesis Asset Management is to acquire Cambridge Fund Managers, a Bath-based firm with around £30 million in funds under management.

The deal is due to close by year end and Cambridge's 80 clients have been invited to invest with Thesis

 

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LGIM goes for an ETF platform

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) entered the exchanged traded fund (ETF) market in November with the purchase of ETF Securities’ platform, Canvas, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will provide LGIM with 17 products managing $2.7 billion of assets, as well as the infrastructure to launch additional funds in both the UK and Ireland.

The new platform also has listing arrangements on multiple European stock markets and distribution arrangements in 14 countries.

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WisdomTree to acquire ETF Securities business

WisdomTree Investments has agreed to acquire ETF Securities' £18 billion European commodity, currency and short-and-leveraged division. 

The deal is to finalise at the end of Q1 2018  and will lift the firm's assets to $66 billion. Some 50 ETF staff will transfer to WidomTree.

Under the agreement, the firm will exchange $253 million (£193 million) of cash and 30 million WisdomTree shares for the acquired business

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