An Acquirer Hunts For a U.S. Distro Platform
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Thursday, December 26, 2019

An Acquirer Hunts For a U.S. Distro Platform

A European distribution ally to asset managers is on the hunt for U.S. acquisitions, as well as boutiques to take minority stakes in.

Jeffrey Kent Seeley
iM Global Partner
Deputy CEO, Head of U.S.
"We're looking to acquire 100 percent of a platform in the U.S.," one with between $1 billion and $7 billion assets, Jeff Seeley, deputy CEO and U.S. chief of iM Global Partner [profile], tells MFWire. "We'd prefer a more scale way to accelerate our growth. It would give us a unique insight into a lot of subadvisors that have a lot of talent."

Meanwhile, the iM Global Partner team continues to hunt for boutique asset managers to invest in, but only as a minority shareholder, Seeley says. They "have a couple of discussions underway," he hints.

"We continue to look at alternatives," Seeley says, noting that iM Global Partner already has a stake in a "great fixed income firm" that specializes in corporate credit. "We are talking to other firms that have more specialized fixed income capabilities."

iM Global Partner offers distribution support to the boutiques it invests in. The firm now has invested in five boutiques with nearly $40 billion in AUM combined.

"Our proportional share of that has just crossed $11 billion," Seeley says.

The iM Global Partner team is aiming for an IPO, eventually, but they're not in a rush, Seeley says. And they're not looking to flip their boutique investments, either.

"We're permanent capital," Seeley says. "We're here with them in perpetuity."

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