The deal that sees Morgan Stanley buy Eaton Vance for $7 billion follows a number of other acquisitions in fund management and fund administration this year that included firms such as Schroders buying into Asia, and Legg Mason expanding globally.
Franklin Templeton's parent, Franklin Resources, announced in February that it would buy Legg Mason - a move described as “surprising” by Morningstar – for $4.5 billion.
That news came the same week that Jupiter Asset Management said it would buy Merian Global Investors for around £390 million, including the issuance of £370 million of new shares.
The Schroders deal involved paying an undisclosed sum for a majority stake in Pamfleet, a real estate investment manager with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. Pamfleet has over $1 billion in assets and Schroders gained 19 professionals in the deal.
Yet another piece of M&A this year, and possibly the largest, involved two global investment consulting firms. Aon reportedly was paying nearly $30 billion for Willis Towers Watson, a rival that would bring combined revenues to $20 billion annually.
Much lower down the costs scale (presumably, as a figure was not disclosed), but suggestive of asset managements tech transition, was DWS paying for 25% of stake in AI firm. DWS said it would use Arabesque’s AI to increase investment returns.
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