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Rating:Brown Preps a $104B-AUM Addition to Victory Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Brown Preps a $104B-AUM Addition to Victory

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

David Brown and his team are working on an acquisition that would boost the publicly traded firm's total client assets by 59 percent and bring on a new strategic partner (also publicly traded) across the pond.

Valérie Baudson
Group CEO
This morning, Valérie Baudson, CEO of Amundi, and Brown, chairman and CEO of Victory Capital [profile], revealed that the two firms have signed a non-binding memorandum of undestanding for a strategic partnership. They say that, pending continuing negotiations, they expect to unveil a definitive agreement by the end of this quarter (i.e. Q2 2024, so by June 30).

David C. "Dave" Brown
Victory Capital Holdings, Inc.
Chairman, CEO
The proposed deal involves San Antonio-based Victory buying Paris-based Amundi's Boston-based Amundi U.S. [profile] in an all-stock transaction. That would turn Amundi into a strategic Victory shareholder, holding 26.1 percent of the publicly traded multi-boutique's shares and gaining two Victory board seats. And the two sides would promise, for 15 years, that Amundi would be Victory's exclusive distributor outside the U.S. and that Victory would be Amundi's exclusive distributor in the U.S. of non-U.S.-manufactured products.

Lisa M. Jones
Amundi Asset Management US, Inc.
President, CEO
Victory has $175.5 billion in client assets (including $170.3 billion in AUM) as of March 31, 2024, powered by 11 autonomous investment boutiques and a solutions business. Amundi (which is majority-owned by French bank Crédit Agricole) has global AUM of 2.037 trillion euros ($2.17 trillion) as of December 31, and the European multinational has 5,400 employees worldwide. Amundi lays claim to being the largest asset manager based in Europe.

Amundi's U.S. business, which is led by Americas chief Lisa Jones, has $104 billion in assets, accounting for about five percent of Amundi's worldwide total. Per the Amundi and Victory teams, Amundi U.S. would become Victory's single largest investment franchise.

Baudson describes the proposed Amundi-Victory deal as "a compelling proposition" for Amundi's clients and employees. She adds that the deal has "significant prospects for both revenue growth and synergies" and "would provide a significant catalyst for growth for Amundi."

"The proposed transaction with Victory Capital is a unique opportunity to strengthen our presence in the US, while becoming a strategic shareholder in a reputable US based asset management firm with an excellent track record of growth," Baudson states. "It would expand our access to top-performing US investment strategies for the benefit of our clients globally. Additionally, Amundi would greatly benefit from expanded distribution strength in the US market."

Brown adds that the Victory-Amundi deal "would create shareholder value, be accretive to earnings, and increase [Victory's] financial flexibility."

"Strategically, bringing the Amundi U.S. business on to our platform increases our size and scale, adds new investment capabilities, and further strengthens our U.S. distribution with the addition of new talent and relationships," Brown states. "At the same time, the distribution agreement would immediately position our products for success through Amundi's extensive and effective distribution channels throughout the world."

The Amundi-Victory memorandum of understanding comes seven years after Amundi bought Pioneer Investment Management (the second-oldest mutual fund firm in the U.S.) in 2017, combining it with Amundi Smith Breeden to create Amundi Pioneer. Today's memorandum also comes three years after Amundi Pioneer rebranded as Amundi U.S., though the Pioneer funds kept their brand.

The Victory-Amundi memorandum also comes six years Victory IPOed on February 8, 2018. And today's memorandum also comes about five years after Victory made its biggest acquisition so far, in the summer of 2019. 

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