FIG M&A Sector Trends - July 2022

Sector trends - July 2022: Asset/Wealth Management

UK & European Financial Services M&A: Sector trends H2 2021 | H1 2022 — Asset/Wealth Management

Insight
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14 min read

With over 350 deals in the European AWM sector in 2021, M&A consolidation activity is hotter than it has ever been in the past 15 years. Conventional wisdom is now under the microscope—is bigger really better?

 

Overview

Current Market

  • High activity levels—no signs of slowing down

We Are Seeing

  • Market consolidation rumbles on at pace:
    • Predominantly smaller domestic opportunities—the UK and Switzerland being focal points
    • Healthy sprinkling of medium-sized deals—the UK, the Netherlands and Italy experience the most activity
    • Few market-defining deals (e.g., Amundi's acquisition of Lyxor AM and Goldman Sachs' acquisition of NN Investment Partners)
  • Differing bank strategic objectives:
    • Some banks go all-in (e.g., UBS's acquisition of Wealthfront)
    • Other banks fold (e.g., Danske Bank's disposal of its Luxembourg WM business)
  • Specialist sub-sector consolidation:
    • Fund management (e.g., Abrdn's acquisition of Interactive Investor)
    • Financial planning (e.g., Perspective's quad— acquisitions of Prolific, Evolve, Bowman and Quantum)
  • Tax advisory (e.g., Ludlow's inside straight draw— acquisitions of Saffron and Charter)

Key Drivers/Challenges

  • Europe's asset/wealth managers continue to believe consolidation is optimal to:
    • Expand client bases and catchment demographic
    • Tap wider spectrum of asset class offerings
    • Secure expertise of specialist fund managers
  • Replenished M&A war chests of active asset managers, especially those offering sustainable investment products
  • Significant uptick in customer familiarity with low-cost DIY wealth management platforms (e.g., FINVIA, TiFIN and EveryoneInvested)
  • Strong investor appetite for Europe's asset/wealth managers from:
    • Private equity investors (e.g., Apex's acquisition of Sanne)
    • Foreign investors (e.g., Federated Hermes's acquisition of remaining 29.5% of Hermes Fund Managers)
    • Institutional investors (e.g., £1.2 billion LSE IPO of Petershill Partners)
    • Management (e.g., Auréus Group's MBO)
  • Digital asset class behemoths flex M&A muscle (e.g., CoinShares' acquisitions of Napoleon Crypto and Elwood Asset Management)
  • Hunt for on ESG-compliant asset class penetration and active portfolio management capability

Trends to Watch

  • Increasing enforcement action and mis-selling claim risk in the ESG arena:
    • Regulators scrutinise asset managers' sustainable investment disclosures
    • UK asset managers are forced to publish environmental impact data under new Sustainability Disclosure Requirements regime

 

Our M&A Forecast

Consolidation activity to continue, but early signs that scale and profitability do not necessarily go hand in hand.

 

Market consolidation

Deal highlight: 

White & Case advised BNP Paribas Asset Management, the largest shareholder of EAB, on EAB's merger with Evli. 

Deal highlight: 

White & Case advised Catella Group, the Sweden-based fund management business, on the sale of its remaining 30% stake in Catella Fondförvaltning to Athanase. 

The wave of fund manager M&A that drove global deal numbers to a record high last year has run into 2022, with the value of transactions in the first four months of 2022 its highest since 2018. (Financial News, May 2022) 

Deal numbers reach record high. There have been 362 M&A deals in the European fund management sector in 2021—comfortably beating the 279 that were struck in 2020. (Financial News, December 2021) 

Investment experts are beginning to question the wisdom of the recent flood of M&A among asset managers since they're often followed by fleeing funds and falling share prices. (Financial News, October 2021) 

Smaller deals between asset managers are running at the hottest pace in almost 15 years as businesses hunt for tactical acquisitions instead of bigger, riskier purchases. (Financial Times, September 2021)

Larger: 

  • EAB & Evli (Finland): Merger (May 2022)
  • Aviva (UK): Acquisition of Succession Wealth (March 2022)
  • Amundi (France): Acquisition of Lyxor Asset Management (January 2022)
  • Goldman Sachs (Netherlands): Acquisition of NN Investment Partners (August 2021)

Mid-sized:

  • Banca March (Spain): Acquisition of BNP Paribas Private Banking Spain (February 2022)
  • M&G (Switzerland): Acquisition of 90% of responsibility Investments (February 2022)
  • River&Mercantile & AssetCo (UK): Merger (January 2022)
  • Kingswood Holdings (UK): Acquisition of Metnor Holdings (January 2022)
  • Raymond James (UK): Acquisition of Charles Stanley (December 2021)
  • Schroders (UK): Acquisition of 75% of Greencoat Capital (December 2021)
  • LGT (Australia): Acquisition of Crestone Wealth Management (December 2021)
  • Schroders (UK): Acquisition of River & Mercantile' solutions division (October 2021)
  • Cardano (Netherlands): Acquisition of ACTIAM (October 2021)
  • BNP Paribas Asset Management (Netherlands): Acquisition of majority stake in Dynamic Credit Group (September 2021)
  • Max Matthiessen (Sweden): Acquisition of Naventi Fonder (September 2021)
  • Abrdn (UK): Acquisition of EXO Investing (August 2021)
  • Zurich (Italy): Acquisition of Deutsche Bank Financial Advisors (August 2021)
  • Raymond James Financial (UK): Acquisition of Charles Stanley Group (July 2021)
  • Poste Italiane and Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy): Acquisition of 40% of Eurizon Capital Real Asset (July 2021)
  • Mattioli Woods (UK): Acquisition of Maven Capital Partners (July 2021)

Smaller:

  • Tern (UK): Acquisition of Pires Investments (June 2022)
  • Grupo Mutua (Spain): Acquisition of 24.41% of Alantra Wealth Management (May 2022)
  • Tatton Asset Management (UK): Acquisition of 50% of 8AM Global (April 2022)
  • Sienna Investment Managers (France): Acquisition of Acofi Gestion (March 2022)
  • Verso Wealth Management (UK): Acquisition of CDC Wealth Management (March 2022)
  • Magellim (France): Acquisition of Turgot Capital (February 2022)
  • Kingswood Holdings (UK): Acquisition of Joseph Lamb (February 2022)
  • Athanase (Sweden): Acquisition of remaining 30% of Catella Fondförvaltning (February 2022)
  • Gonet & Cie (Switzerland): Acquisition of Banque Degroof Petercam (January 2022)
  • Decisive Capital Management (Switzerland): Acquisition of Artorius Wealth Switzerland (January 2022)
  • Vontobel (Switzerland): Acquisition of UBS Swiss Financial Advisers (December 2021)
  • Canaccord Genuity Group (UK): Acquisition of Punter Southall Wealth (December 2021)
  • Liontrust (UK): Acquisition of Majedie Asset Management (December 2021)
  • Kingswood Holdings (UK): Acquisition of Metnor Holdings Limited (November 2021)
  • Kingswood Holdings (UK): Acquisition of Money Matters (North East) (November 2021)
  • Primevest Capital Partner (Netherlands): Acquisition of Holland Immo (November 2021)
  • Hottinger (UK): Combination with Edmond de Rothschild's UK wealth management operations (October 2021)
  • Kepler Cheuvreux (France): Acquisition of Ellipsis Asset Management (October 2021)
  • ODDO BHF Asset Management (France): Acquisition of METROPOLE Gestion (September 2021)
  • Storebrand (Denmark): Acquisition of Capital Investment (August 2021)
  • Titan Wealth (UK): Acquisition of Titan Asset Management (August 2021)
  • REYL & Cie (Switzerland): Acquisition of 40% of 1875 Finance (August 2021)
  • AssetCo (UK): Acquisition of majority stake in Rize (July 2021)
  • AssetCo (UK): Acquisition of 30% of Parmenion Capital Partners (July 2021)

JVs:

  • Sienna Investment Managers: French asset management JV with Malakoff Humanis (March 2022)

 

High investor appetite

Deal highlight: 

White & Case advised Oaktree Capital Management on its acquisition of UK private wealth management and investment businesses, Sanlam Wealth. 

PE firms have been buying up companies that advise individuals on their wealth, surging to a record 223 in 2021. (Financial Times, December 2021)

Financial sponsors (acquisitions):

  • Beka Finance/Gala Capital (Spain): Acquisition of Trea Asset Management (May 2022)
  • Motive Partners and Clearlake Capital (UK): Acquisition of BETA+ (March 2022)
  • Apex Group (UK): Acquisition of Sanne (August 2021)
  • Bonaccord Capital Partners (UK): Minority equity investment in Park Square Capital (January 2022)
  • Oaktree Capital Management (UK): Acquisition of Sanlam Wealth (September 2021)
  • Cinven Partners (UK): Majority (undisclosed) equity investment in True Potential (September 2021)

Financial sponsors (WealthTech funding rounds):

  • Hamilton Lane (WealthTech): Participation in US$47 million Series C funding round for TIFIN (October 2021)

Financial advisers/Investment banks:

  • Stephens Financial Services (Asset management): Acquisition of 20% of CRUX Asset Management (April 2022)

Foreign investors: 

  • HPS Investment Partners (UK): Equity investment into Nucleus Financial Platforms (March 2022)
  • Agilis (US): Acquisition of River and Mercantile's US solutions business (January 2022)
  • Federated Hermes (US): Acquisition of remaining 29.5% of Hermes Fund Managers (August 2021)

Market appetite:

  • Petershill Partners: £1.2 billion LSE IPO (September 2021)

MBOs: 

  • Auréus Group (Netherlands): MBO (January 2022)
  • Wergen & Partner Wealth Management (Switzerland): MBO (January 2022)

 

Differing FI prerogatives

UK investors turned their backs on passive funds in July 2021, favouring actively managed sustainable investment products which chalked up one of their best months on record. (Financial News, August 2021)

Tag-out (disposals): 

  • Julius Baer: Disposal of Fransad Gestion (June 2022)
  • Sovcombank: Disposal of Septem Capital (February 2022)
  • Julius Baer Group: Disposal of Wergen & Partner Wealth Management (January 2022)
  • Société Générale: Disposal of Lyxor Asset Management (January 2022)
  • UBS: Disposal of UBS Swiss Financial Advisers (December 2021)
  • Deutsche Bank: Disposal of Deutsche Bank Financial Advisors (August 2021)
  • BNP Paribas: Disposal of ClimateSeed (July 2021)
  • Danske Bank: Disposal of Luxembourg wealth management business (July 2021) 

Tag-in (acquisitions):

  • Royal Bank of Canada (UK): Acquisition of Brewin Dolphin (March 2022)
  • ANZ (UK): US$50 million equity investment in Pollination (February 2022)
  • Graubündner Kantonalbank (Switzerland): Acquisition of 30% of Twelve Capital (January 2022)
  • Bank Syz (Switzerland): Acquisition of BHA Partners (January 2022)
  • UBS (US): Acquisition of Wealthfront (January 2022)
  • HSBC (India): Acquisition of L&T Finance's Indian mutual funds business (December 2021)
  • Banco Desio e Brianza (Italy): Acquisition of 15% of Anthilia Capital Partners (November 2021)
  • Renell Bank (Belgium): Acquisition of Merit Capital (October 2021)
  • HSBC Asset Management (US): Acquisition of minority stake in RadiantESG (July 2021)
  • Union Bancaire Privée (Luxembourg): Acquisition of Danske Bank's Luxembourg wealth management business (July 2021)

 

Financial planning M&A

Financial sponsors:

  • Nordic Capital (UK): Acquisition of Ascot Lloyd (April 2022)
  • Andera Partners (France): Acquisition of (undisclosed) equity stake in Patrimmofi (September 2021) 
  • Lightyear Capital–backed MBO (UK): Acquisition of Wren Sterling from Palatine Private Equity (July 2021)

Trade consolidators:

  • Groupe Crystal (France): Acquisition of CP Conseils Finance (December 2021)
  • M&G (UK): Acquisition of Sandringham Financial Partners (August 2021)
  • Perspective Financial Group (UK): Acquisition of Prolific Financial Services (August 2021)
  • Perspective Financial Group (UK): Acquisition of Evolve Financial Management (August 2021)
  • Perspective Financial Group (UK): Acquisition of Bowman Financial Planning (August 2021)
  • Perspective Financial Group (UK): Acquisition of Quantum Portfolio Management (August 2021)
  • Lloyds (UK): Acquisition of Embark (July 2021)

 

Fund management M&A

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised JTC, the global professional services business, on its acquisition of Essential Fund Services, the private capital fund administration services specialist.

The corporate and fund services space has seen relatively consistent numbers of transactions involving Europe-based targets over the last few years, and data suggests that the trend will continue. (Mergermarket, July 2021)

  • ZEDRA (US): Acquisition of Atlas Fund Services (April 2022)
  • Apex Group (UK): Acquisition of majority stake in Fund Admin Chain (March 2022)
  • Abrdn (UK): Acquisition of Interactive Investor (December 2021)
  • JTC (USA): Acquisition of Essential Fund Services (December 2021)
  • Apex Group (UK): Acquisition of Sanne (August 2021)
  • Sanne (Isle of Man): Acquisition of PraxisIFM's funds administration business (July 2021)
  • IQ-EQ (Ireland): Acquisition of Davy Global Fund Management (July 2021)

 

Tax advisory M&A

  • Ludlow Trust (UK): Acquisition of Saffron Tax Partners (April 2022) 
  • Ludlow Trust (UK): Acquisition of Charter Tax (April 2022)

 

Debt servicing/NPL management

  • Cerved Credit Management (Italy): Acquisition of Rev (June 2022)
  • Dunya Varlik Yonetim, Hisar Stratejik Yatirimlar Holding & Merkez Alacak Yonetimi Danismanlik ve Destek Hizmetleri (Turkey): Merger (April 2022)
  • Collextion (Italy): Acquisition of Whitestar (April 2022)

 

Asset management in the digital world

  • Caceis (France): Digital asset custody JV with Taurus (June 2022)
  • CoinShares (France): Acquisition of Napoleon Crypto (December 2021)
  • Afry (Sweden): Acquisition of Trivalo (October 2021)
  • Tatton Asset Management (UK): Fund management JV with Fintel (September 2021)
  • Standard Chartered (UK): Cryptocustody JV with Zodia Custody (July 2021)
  • CoinShares (UK): Acquisition of Elwood Asset Management Services (July 2021)

 

Digitalisation marches on

  • Amundi: Acquisition of Finventum (June 2022)
  • Moneybox: Successful £35 million Series D funding round led by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures (April 2022)
  • FINVIA: Successful €20 million funding round led by HANNOVER Finanz (March 2022)
  • M&G: UK direct investments JV with Moneyfarm (January 2022)
  • TiFIN: Successful US$47 million Series C funding round led by Hamilton Lane (October 2021)
  • EveryoneInvested: Spare change investment JV with Mastercard (September 2021)
  • Wise: WealthTech JV with BlackRock (September 2021)

 

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