Fundsters could be forgiven for thinking, or at least hoping, that the M&A flood gates are about to open. Yet some notable industry watchers are worried that it isn't so.
| Marty Flanagan|
Chief Executive Officer
"Don't hold your breath for an asset-management merger frenzy," writes Chris Dieterich of the Wall Street Journal
Last week Invesco
CEO Marty Flanagan
(himself an acquirer earlier this year, though of a roboadvisor
and not an asset manager) told analysts that, when it comes to small- and mid-sized asset managers, "not everybody is going to be a willing buyer of some of those firms." And analysts Brian Bedell
(of Deutsche Bank
) and Bill Katz
) echo Flanagan.
"M&A may remain constrained by wide bid-ask spreads between any acquirers and potentially weaker asset manager targets," Bedell reportedly says.
"Did Marty Flanagan just pop the M&A hope trade," Katz wonders.
Yet are Bedell, Flanagan, Katz, and the WSJ
right to be so down on asset management M&A? They're all reacting to the planned merger
between Janus and Henderson, two big global asset managers that definitely don't fall into the small and mid-sized range that Flanagan's comments directed at. On the flip side, the article makes no mention of the impending sale
of Calvert, a much more modest-sized fund firm, to Eaton Vance.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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