Aviva sells off boutique US equity firm

Signing dealAviva Investors is selling US equity shop River Road Asset Management to Affiliated Managers Group for an undisclosed fee that Aviva says is a 'modest' premium to net asset value.

Aviva insisted it was not pulling back from the US market but was merely “simplifying its business”.

“Aviva Investors is focused on becoming a fully integrated asset manager offering products that deliver client outcomes with low volatility,” says Jason Windsor, group chief strategy and development officer. “A boutique US equity manager does not fit with this strategy.”

Aviva bought River Road, which today manages about $11 billion (€8 billion), in 2009. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm describes itself as a value investor that aims to provide sustainable, low-volatility returns. Aviva says River Road will continue to manage its US equity income funds.

Affiliated Managers Group had $568 billion under management among its affiliates on December 31. River Road already acts as a sub-adviser to six funds operated by Aston Asset Management, which is part of the group.

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