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Rating:Will a $345B-AUM AM Chief Find Simple Excellence In More M&A? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Will a $345B-AUM AM Chief Find Simple Excellence In More M&A?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

"There's no point in doing anything unless it's about excellence. Our clients really don't have any need whatsoever for more mediocre ... asset management."

Richard MacCoy "Dick" Weil
Janus Henderson Group plc
So said Dick Weil, CEO of Janus Henderson [profile], in the opening keynote address this morning at the publicly traded, multinational asset manager's online global media conference. (The two-day event's theme is "New Investment Paradigm: Uncovering Opportunities and Challenges.") After a welcome video featuring Suzanne Cain (global head of distribution) and an introduction from Sarah de Lagarde (global head of communications), Weil was interviewed by Louise Beale, a correspondent with Channel 5 News in the UK.

When Beale asked about asset management industry consolidation, Weil pointed to fee pressure and competition continuing to drive such deals. He also mused that such pressures are also being faced by banks, insurers, and other financial services firms, many of whom own asset managers; he hinted at such firms potentially selling off their asset management arms as a key driver of asset manager M&A.

As for Janus Henderson itself being a possible buyer, Weil noted that scale is a secondary factor to excellence in terms of what he strives for in opportunities, including M&A.

"I don't scale is the most important [driver] ... but, if you can also achieve excellence with scale ..." Weil said. "Clients don't want to deal with thousands of asset managers across the world."

Weil put his perspective on M&A in the context of the pursuit of "simple excellence," which he describes as the Janus Henderson team's "north star."

"It's about trying to deliver excellence in all that we do ... [and] we simplify what we're doing," Weil said.

In terms of growth opportunities for Janus Henderson, Weil pointed to the strength of the firm's fixed income and European equities investing teams, as well as the potential of their firm's alternatives and ESG teams.

Weil also discussed active management prospects (better in times of "relative volatility," he said), lessons from the pandemic and the WFH era (hinting at a future middleground between always in the office and always WFH), DE&I, and more.

The conference feature a host of other speakers today, mostly PMs. It will wrap up tomorrow with another day of online sessions. 

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