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Natixis to snap up minority stake in WCM

Natixis to snap up minority stake in WCM

Natixis Investment Managers (Natixis IM) has agreed to acquire a minority stake in California-based WCM Investment Management.

Under the terms of the agreement, Natixis will acquire a 24.9% stake in WCM and become their exclusive third-party distributor for WCM’s investment strategies globally, subject to limited exclusions.

The company's spokesperson told Citywire Asia that Natixis will become the exclusive third-party distributor for WCM for all markets except US and Australia.

Four of WCM's funds – WCM Focused International Growth fund, WCM Focused Global Growth fund, WCM Focused Emerging Markets fund and WCM International Small Cap Growth fund – will be available to high net worth investors in Asia.

Although the Focused International Growth Fund will not be merged onto the Natixis fund platform, Natixis will become a named distributor for the fund, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the other three funds will be merged on the Natixis fund platform. This is subject to various board and other approvals, however.

Natixis said WCM will retain its independence and autonomy over the management of its business, its investment philosophy and process, and its culture.

Citywire AA-rated Paul Black and Citywire AA-rated Kurt Winrich will remain as co-CEOs at WCM, and there will be no changes to the company’s management or investment teams.

The addition of WCM to its global multi-affiliate platform will give Natixis clients access to another high-conviction, high-active share investment manager with a distinctive investment culture and process.

WCM, which is owned and managed entirely by active employees, is best known for managing low-turnover, alpha-generating equity portfolios with a focused, global growth approach. It has about $29 billion of assets under management as of end-May.

WCM offers equity investment management services to corporations, individuals, public and private funds, Taft-Hartley plans, endowments, and foundations through different vehicles that include separate accounts, mutual funds, limited partnerships, among others.

The impact of the transaction on Natixis’ common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio is estimated to be approximately -15 basis points (bps).

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Just late last month, Natixis IM acquired UK-based MV Credit to expand its private debt capabilities. The acquisition of MV Credit – a European credit specialist that focused on upper mid-cap private debt – adds to the company’s expanding range of private debt capabilities.

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