Mergers and acquisitions  

US investment firm buys 20% stake in Crux Asset Management

US investment firm buys 20% stake in Crux Asset Management

Privately held US-based investment firm Stephens Inc is to take a 20 per cent stake in boutique asset manager Crux Asset Management, subject to regulatory approval.

The minority ownership stake will be held through a wholly owned subsidiary and new ordinary shares will be issued to support the deal. 

Crux Asset Management, an active equity investment manager with £1.7bn assets under management, was established in 2014.

The firm’s three core equity teams focus on Europe, the UK and Asia. 

Karen Zachary, chief executive officer at Crux, said: “This is a very exciting strategic step for Crux and we are delighted to be partnering with a firm of such a high calibre as Stephens and see clear synergies between our two firms. 

“Over the last five years, we have built a scalable platform at Crux that has enabled us to expand our investment offering into Asia and the UK with complementary strategies that fit our plans to build a diversified range of active management strategies.”

As part of the purchase, John Stephens, who is currently a senior vice president with Stephens’ affiliate Stephens Inc, will join the Crux board as a non-executive director, following approval of the deal from the Financial Conduct Authority.

Stephens, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, was described as having a strong focus on family investments, private equity, asset management investment banking, wealth management, public finance and insurance brokerage.

Founded in 1933, it has a European practice in the UK and Germany. 

John Stephens, said: “We are excited to make an investment in Crux Asset Management which, in our view, is comprised of extremely talented individuals who come together to create a cohesive and exciting team with a bright future.

“We are looking forward to working with Karen and others in helping the business achieve its goal of becoming a leading, independent asset manager and the platform of choice for high quality PMs with a passion for what they do.” 

Zachary added: “This new relationship strengthens our capital base and enables us to build out and grow our recently acquired UK and Asia strategies, and expand our distribution, widening access to our already well-established European strategy. Our teams are built on an ethos of collaboration, a commitment to fundamental research, and a long-term record of outperformance across equity benchmarks. 

“We look forward to continuing to deliver the scale of performance that can only be achieved by active management with aligned investment aims to our clients globally.”

Last month, AJ Bell appointed Jamie Ward as head of investment solutions as part of its growth plans for its investment business.

Ward joined from Crux Asset Management where he was fund manager on the Crux UK Core fund. 

sonia.rach@ft.com

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