Merian to launch multi-asset arm with acquisition

Merian to launch multi-asset arm with acquisition

Merian Global Investors is set to buy London-based multi-asset manager Kestrel Investment Partners, opening a multi-asset division at the firm.

The asset manager yesterday announced (October 10) it had signed an agreement to acquire Kestrel, bringing chief executive John Ricciardi, two portfolio managers, three system analysts and $151m (£123m) of assets under management to Merian.

The Kestrel Global portfolio will be rebranded under the ‘Merian’ name once the deal completes in December 2019, marking the launch of the division.

The fund has delivered a compound annual return of 6.2 per cent against the peer index’s 2.4 per cent since it launched.

The new multi-asset team will also launch a long short fund early next year, subject to regulatory approval, as part of Merian’s aim to expand its range of available funds.

Mr Ricciardi has three decades of multi-asset investing experience, including six years as global head of asset allocation for Alliance Bernstein.

Merian, formerly called Old Mutual Global Investors, was carved out from Old Mutual Wealth by fund manager Richard Buxton last June, leave behind the multi asset business that later became Quilter Investors.

Mark Gregory, chief executive of Merian Global Investors, said: “For some time we’ve been looking to selectively expand our investment proposition, aligned with client demand for differentiated, high-alpha active strategies that offer genuine portfolio diversification. 

“The Kestrel multi-asset team’s proven process is hugely compelling and I’m delighted that we’ve signed an agreement to secure its best-in-class business.”

Mr Gregory said the Kestrel team was “hugely experienced” and that he was confident Merian could grow the team’s assets under management.

Mr Ricciardo added Merian was an “ideal home” for Kestrel’s ambitious team, calling the firm a “well-respected” asset manager with a “reputation for innovation”.

He said: “The support of Merian’s talented distribution and operational teams will allow us to develop and grow our strategy, while its commitment to having ‘no house style’ will afford us the freedom to manage our products with the flexibility that’s resulted in long-term outperformance for our investors.”

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