Vontobel Asset Management is to acquire a 60 per cent stake in TwentyFour Asset Management LLP (TwentyFour), an independent fixed income specialist based in London.
The transaction strengthens Vontobel’s presence in the UK market, extends its fixed income product offering and underlines its commitment to broaden its asset management business through targeted investments. Adding TwentyFour’s entrepreneurial culture and focused investment approach to Vontobel’s highly successful Fixed Income Boutique and global reach creates an excellent opportunity to accelerate the growth of both groups. Vontobel and TwentyFour will offer clients a broader range of specialised fixed income strategies, for which there is significant demand in the current environment of record low interest rates. In aggregate they will have approximately CHF17 billion (GBP12 billion) of total fixed income assets under management.
Established in 2008, TwentyFour has approximately GBP4.4 billion in assets under management, across a range of public funds and segregated accounts, managed on behalf of wholesale and institutional investors. TwentyFour is recognised for its dynamic asset allocation and robust investment process across the fixed income spectrum, consistently delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to investors. It is owned by 10 Partners.
TwentyFour’s Partners will continue to manage TwentyFour’s day-to-day operations, retaining full authority over fund investment decisions. The established TwentyFour brand will remain in place. TwentyFour’s Partners and key employees will retain a 40 per cent stake in the business and will remain fully committed to TwentyFour. To further strengthen alignment, the Partners have agreed to reinvest a significant share of their consideration into existing TwentyFour or Vontobel investment funds. In line with Vontobel’s multi-boutique structure, both firms’ investment platforms will operate independently of each other to ensure a continuation of their strong performance record. The 40 per cent stake held by the Partners will be acquired by Vontobel over the longer-term.
Axel Schwarzer, Head of Vontobel Asset Management and Member of the Group Executive Management, says: "TwentyFour’s expertise, performance culture and the consistent organic growth have convinced us. The acquisition will set a strong foundation for Vontobel Asset Management’s further growth in the UK, which is one of the most important asset management markets in the world and accelerates the international growth of our business. "
Mark Holman, Chief Executive Officer of TwentyFour, says: "We are delighted to welcome Vontobel as a committed long-term partner to the firm. This represents a significant step in the evolution of TwentyFour, providing a one-off opportunity to achieve our goals and vision, without compromising on our boutique approach and culture. We will continue to focus on delivering strong investment performance to our clients."
Zeno Staub, Chief Executive Officer of Vontobel Group, says: "With its strong reputation and complementary active investment strategies, TwentyFour fits well with our strategy of providing active investment advice to clients. It further broadens our pool of investment talent, making it a perfect addition to Vontobel’s culture. TwentyFour meets exactly the criteria for acquisitions we set out three years ago."
The transaction will be financed out of Vontobel’s own funds and is expected to be accretive for Vontobel in the first year with no significant integration costs. Vontobel will continue to comfortably exceed its own target capital ratio of 16 percent and remains in a position to consider additional external growth opportunities. The transaction, which is conditional on the approval of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Switzerland’s FINMA, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.