In corporate finance advisory services, Maven Capital Partners acquired HM Corporate Solutions and Peterhouse Capital agreed to acquire Rivington Street Corporate Finance. Also, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, the Japanese financial services group took a 40% stake in NewSmith Capital Partners. There was US interest in fund management with Climate Change Capital expected to be acquired by Bunge, the US commodities group, and Matrix Group agreeing to sell Prime Rate Capital Management to Federated Investors. Domestically, Hermes bought out Henderson from their joint venture in Hermes GPE, the private equity fund of funds.
In the wealth management sector, Sanlam Private Wealth acquired the client bank of London Asset Management. Investec completed the £233m acquisition of Evolution.
The investment sector saw significant overseas interest with Australian investment bank RFC Group acquiring UK investment house Ambrian Capital, US hedge fund Black Diamond Capital Management acquiring European leverage market investor GSC Group’s London business, US capital markets provider INTL FCStone acquiring the metals division of London-based MF Global UK Ltd and South African investment manager Prescient Holdings acquiring AIB Investment Managers from Allied Irish Banks.
Corporate finance has also been active with Webb Capital acquiring Rivington Street Corporate Finance, Westhouse Holdings acquiring Arbuthnot Banking Group and Maven Capital Partners acquired corporate finance adviser HM Corporate Solutions LLP. In investment management European Wealth Management acquired Aventus Capital Management, Insetco agreed to acquire ARM Asset Backed Securities and Smith & Williamson acquired the tax advisory business of Begbies Traynor, BTG Tax LLP. Other activity included inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon acquiring US municipal bond broker Chapdelaine & Co and the sale of IFA Oakleaf Independent Financial Services.
Blackstone’s global credit platform GSO Capital Partners has acquired Harbourmaster Capital, the European leveraged loan manager advising on c. €8bn of assets whilst Sanlam is to acquire wealth management firm Merchant Securities for £12.2m and Duff & Phelps acquired corporate restructuring firm MCR.
IFAs continue to close transactions with Paradigm Norton acquiring accountancy and tax planning firm Anning & Co. and further infill acquisitions for Ludlow Insurance Services and Hancock Life & Pensions. Private equity has also been active with David Seligman and his management team acquiring Edmond de Rothschild’s 75% stake in Private Equity Select, the €200m AUM investor in small European buyout funds, and Palatine Private Equity acquiring a significant stake in Wealth at Work from LDC.
Punter Southall acquired Brewin Dolphin’s corporate pensions arm whilst Investec confirmed a £230m share-based recommended offer for Evolution, the asset manager and investment bank and the London Metal Exchange has received several approaches. However, volatile market conditions continue to impact deal activity with James Hay parent IFG and Bregal Capital citing this reason for discontinuing discussions.
IFAs also remain active with Paradigm to become a shareholder in wrap platform Nucleus, Gaeia Partnership merging with charity fund manager Castlefield and further infill acquisitions for Perspective Financial, Jones Sheridan and SG Wealth Management.
Private equity has also been active with Cognetas rejecting Charterhouse’s approach to acquire its portfolio and Axa Private Equity up for sale.
Cross border M&A activity was active with Williams de Broe announcing the £25m acquisition of the private investment management arm of BNP Paribas Wealth Management following news that Williams de Broe’s parent, Evolution Group, had received an approach for the group from South African group Investec as well as Canadian-based Cannacord Genuity. Ares Management LLC the Los Angeles-based alternative asset manager signed an agreement to acquire Indicus Advisors, the London–based provider of investment advice on European leveraged finance and global structured products. Also JPMorgan Private Equity is to buy £56.5m of assets held by the suspended Arch Cru funds.
On a more domestic basis, Brooks Macdonald Asset Management announced its intention to acquire the investment management activities of law firm Clarke Willmott for up to £6m, depending on discretionary funds under management and Liontrust acquired emerging markets fund manager Occam for £3.9m. LV= is one of four firms understood to be in discussions about acquiring Sipp and SSAS provider Hornbuckle Mitchell.
IFA consolidator Moneygate acquired IFA Results Financial whilst pension consultant and wealth management services provider Mattioli Woods announced the acquisition of TCF Global Independent Financial Services for up to £8.7m. Finally, AIM-listed Insetco announced the acquisition of the (maturing senior life settlement) assets of ARM Asset Backed Securities S.A. and Catalyst Investment Group Ltd.
Asset management also saw selected activity with Michael Spencer’s private equity vehicle IPGL disposing of Origin Asset Management to NYSE-listed Principal Financial Group, JO Hambro Capital Management to be bought by Australian fund manager BT Investment Management (owned by Westpac) for £209m and Williams de Broe in talks to acquire BNP Paribas Investment Management.
IFAs also continue to be active with Moneygate acquiring City-based Equus Independent Financial Management with £1bn funds under influence. In addition, Aegon has put its Guardian Life insurance business up for sale for £250m.
July also saw outbound overseas interest with Kleinwort Benson Bank acquiring German banking service provider BHF-Bank AG from Deutsche Bank and Tullett Prebon gaining approval to acquire Brazilian inter-dealer broker Convencao Corretora de Valores e Cambio.
Evercore Partners agreed to buy financial adviser Lexicon Partners for c. £86m and Belgian-based Ackermans & van Haaren agreed to acquire 70% in JM Finn & Co, the private client stockbroker. Kleinwort Benson acquired Close Offshore Group for £26.4m whilst Helm Godfrey acquired the employee benefits business of Truestone Asset Management. Scottish IFA Thomson Shepherd’s directors bought out Skipton Building Society’s 84% stake to form Carbon Financial Partners and Perspective acquired two IFAs, Shirebrook Wealth Management and Austyn James Consulting.
Canadian financial services group 49 North Resources acquired a further 25% stake in Vicarage Capital whilst Cyrun Finance built a 52% stake in SVM UK Active Trust. Fund of funds manager Nexar announced the acquisition of Ermitage. IFA consolidator Succession took a 39% stake in Campbell Dallas Financial Services and Charles Stanley acquired Jobson James Financial Services. 80% of Savills Private Finance, the mortgage broker, was bought by its management.
Royal London announced the takeover of Royal Liver and Liontrust sold its credit fund management business to Avoca Capital, the Irish specialist credit fund manager. Richmond Park Capital acquired Olympia Capital Management and GAIN Capital Holdings acquired dbFX, the Deutsche Bank’s retail FX trading business. INTL FCStone acquired Ambrian Capital LME broker-dealer business, Ambrian Commodities.
US hedge fund Caxton Associates acquired a significant stake in Wadhwani Asset Management and Principal Global Investors took a c. £32m majority stake in London hedge fund Finisterre Capital. IFA activity continued as Berkeley Burke acquired Baker Richmond, Foster Denovo acquired John Holman’s IFA business and Close acquired the quoted Cavanagh Group.
Chadney Bulgin acquired pension specialist Pension & Wealth Planning and Duke Street acquired a majority interest in UK Wealth Management from JC Flowers for over £10m. Man Group sold its 25.5% stake in BlueCrest back to the firm. Futures brokerage MAREX Group acquired Spectron Group, a provider of trading and clearing services, from Imarex ASA.
IMAS advised on Border Asset Management’s sale to Principal, controlled by Sanlam whilst Merchant Securities acquired GT Independent Financial Advisers. Albion Ventures completed the takeover of two Spark venture capital trusts. Brewin Dolphin sold its corporate advisory and broking division to its management and N+1, a Spanish financial advisory and asset management group.
Goldman Sachs acquired Paternoster, the specialist pensions insurer vehicle in a £260m deal whilst Henderson acquired Gartmore for an c. £335m to enhance its UK retail asset management presence. IFA consolidator Perspective acquired Equilibrium Wealth Management and Leedham Independent Financial Advisers (its 20th group acquisition). Franklin Templeton completed its £45m acquisition of Rensburg Fund Management and Close Asset Management acquired discount broker Allenbridge. Syndicate Asset Management sold its Guernsey-based investment manager to Hume Capital. Jon Moulton acquired a 58% stake in E-Synergy, a provider of early stage finance to businesses.