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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Macquarie IM Keeps M&A Hunting Amid Thoughtful Expansion in the U.S.

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

As Macquarie Investment Management prepares to buy a $4.94-billion AUM shop in Europe, additional selective M&A is still a possibility, as is some expansion here in the U.S.

Shawn Lytle, deputy global head of Macquarie IM and president of the Philadelphia-based, multinational asset manager's Delaware Funds, confirms that "selectively adding new teams and strategies" remains the third piece of Macquarie IM's strategy, alongside further penetrating the U.S. market and further globalizing the business by expanding in Asia and Europe.

"It's all part of the broader strategy ... in place for the past two years," Lytle tells MFWire. "We continue to be on the lookout for teams both in the U.S. and outside."

Macquarie IM is particularly interested in asset managers and teams whose strategies have "higher active share." Both equities and fixed income strategies are of interest, Lytle says. And Macquarie IM's "multi-boutique philosophy" means that the firm's M&A hunting is geographically flexible, when it comes to where the investment management and research teams are based.

"We want to be location-agnostic in terms of where those talented investors sit, utilizing all of the support structures and resources of Macquarie Investment Management," Lytle says. "If they're talented investors, they can sit wherever they want."

Macquarie IM's latest acquisition, ValueInvest, is a Luxembourg-based, global value equity manager. Watch for Macquarie IM to make ValueInvest's strategies available in the U.S. via separate accounts, especially to institutional clients but "potentially, if there's demand, through the wholesaler channel," Lytle says.

The asset manager worked with about $260 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2017. In terms of staffing, Macquarie IM has nearly 1,000 employees worldwide, including about 550 in the U.S., Lytle says.

"We're also investing in our business, in our global operations infrastructure ..." Lytle says, "and thoughtfully increasing both our client staff as well as our marketing staff ... in the U.S. even more than overseas."

"We have firmly named Philadelphia as the global headquarters for Macquarie Investment Management," Lytle adds. "We continue to build our business here from our Philadelphia base."

March 31 will mark the end of the fiscal year for Macquarie IM, which is part of the Macquarie Group, a publicly traded multinational based in Sydney, Australia.

"We're growing, and we're investing in the business," Lytle says. "Our business is growing and is very nicely profitable. We feel very fortunate in what has been a challenging environment for active management." 

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