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Monday, December 12, 2016

Who is Amundi?

Reported by Katy Golvala

Earlier today, Amundi announced that it would purchase Pioneer Investments, the asset management business that UniCredit has been looking to sell (on and off) since 2010.

Amundi is the largest asset manager in Europe and, with the Pioneer purchase, the eighth largest asset manager in the world. It was founded in 2010 when two of the largest French banks, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, merged their fund shops. In 2015, Amundi went public, and Societe General sold its stake in the firm. Credit Agricole still holds a majority stake in Amundi, and will underwrite 1.4 billion euros of the 3.5 billion euro capital increase for the Pioneer acquisition.

Perrier Yves
Currently, Amundi's assets are split, with 40 percent of assets managed for Credit Agricole and Societe Generale Insurance Companies, 33 percent for institutional clients and employee savings, and the remainder through partner networks and third party distributors.

When the company went public, CEO Yves Perrier wasn't shy about his desire to build a "big global brand" to rival larger competitors, like BlackRock and Vanguard. In fact, back in 2011, Amundi was one of the finalists in the race to purchase Pioneer, but at the time, UniCredit decided to hold off on the sale.

The impending purchase of Pioneer marks a major expansion of Amundi's U.S. footprint, particularly in the retail channel. The firm's current North American headquarters are in Durham, North Carolina at Amundi Smith Breeden, an investment management firm with $10 billion in AUM that Amundi acquired in 2013. The company is led by CEO Patrice Blanc. Though the bulk of its work is institutional, it serves as sub-advisor to eight funds, none of which are distributed in the U.S.

Other significant Amundi acquisitions include a 2012 purchase of a minority stake in French asset manager Tobam, which recently launched its first mutual fund in the U.S. In November, Amundi doubled its stake in the firm to 20 percent.

Most recently, Amundi acquired a majority stake in Kleinwort Benson Investors, now KBI Global Investors, a money manager with $8.6 billion in assets, 52 percent of which were with North American clients.


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