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Natixis Buys Investors Mutual to Build Asia-Pacific Presence

Natixis Global Asset Management said the deal will increase its exposure Australia’s expanding superannuation industry.

  • Joe McGrath

Natixis Global Asset Management has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Investors Mutual to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The firm said Tuesday that it’s buying a 51.9 percent stake in the Australian equities fund manager, which oversees AU$9.1 billion ($7.1 billion) of assets, from Pacific Current Group and Anton Tagliaferro, the founder of Investors Mutual. The asset manager agreed to pay as much as AU$155 million in cash for the combined shares.

The purchase is part of the expansion strategy under Natixis Global Asset Management’s new chief executive officer, Jean Raby. When Raby joined the firm in February, following the death of former head Pierre Servant, he immediately moved to increase operations in Asia.

“We have previously stated that it is our intention to pursue new growth in the Asia Pacific market, and this marks the first acquisition as part of those plans,” Raby said in Tuesday’s statement.

Investors Mutual will keep its brand name and management team, including investment director and founder Tagliaferro, after the acquisition is completed.

Natixis Global Asset Management, which opened its first Australian office in Sydney in 2015, said the deal will increase its exposure to the local retail market and the country’s expanding superannuation industry. Australia’s superannuation assets totaled a record AU$2.3 trillion at the end of June, rising 10 percent from a year earlier, according the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.

Natixis Global Asset Management, which manages $951.7 billion of assets globally and is headquartered in Paris and Boston, is joining other asset managers in expanding in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings said in August that it was buying a 6.3 percent stake in Australian investment group Challenger. About a year ago, Axa Investment Managers acquired Australian investment group Eureka Funds Management, and in November, Canadian wealth manager CI Financial Corp. said it agreed to buy an 80 percent stake in Sydney-based Grant Samuel Funds Management.