Insurers played a minor role in merger and acquisition (M&A)
activity in the asset management market in the first half of 2009,
accounting for only 4 out of 73 deals recorded by US securities and
investment banking group Jefferies Putnam Lovell (JPL).
Among European insurers, JPL noted that the only deal of any
significance conducted in the first half of 2009 was by
Assicurazioni Generali – which acquired a minority stake in Chinese
asset manager Guotai Asset Management for $140 million.
No other European-based insurer made any acquisitions of asset
managers in the first half of 2009 compared with six deals in all
Among insurers in other regions, Bermuda-based Primus Guaranty
acquired CypressTree Investment Management, a derivative product
specialist with $2.4 billion in assets under management
Primus provides insurance against default risk on corporate,
sovereign and asset-backed security obligations.
In the US, New York Life and Canadian insurer Manulife Financial’s
US unit, John Hancock, made small acquisitions in municipal bond
and value equity asset management firms, respectively. Across the
asset management industry as a whole JPL reported that disclosed
deal values and AuM transacted nearly matched or exceeded 2008
However, one transaction – US asset management company BlackRock’s
purchase of Barclays Global Investors (BGI) – accounted for $13.5
billion of the $13.9 billion of disclosed deal values in the first
half of 2009.
JPL noted that excluding BlackRock/BGI, deal values declined by 93
percent to the lowest half-year total in at least a decade. The
BlackRock/BGI deal was the largest deal ever by AuM transacted and
second largest by deal value.
Levels of AuM transacted were also heavily influenced by the
BlackRock/BGI deal and merger of the asset management units of
French banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.
These two deals accounted for AuM of $1.4 trillion and $340
billion, respectively, or more than 80 percent of the $2.2 trillion
of AuM transacted in the period.
Adjusting for these deals, transacted AuM declined 28 percent
compared with first half of 2008.