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Rating:Has PE Put a $293B-AUM Shop On the Block? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Has PE Put a $293B-AUM Shop On the Block?

News summary by MFWire's editors

A private equity-backed, 83-year-old, multi-manager mutual fund firm may be on the block soon.

Michelle Renae Seitz
Russell Investments
The team at Boston-based TA Associates is looking into selling Seattle-based Russell Investments [profile], with help from Goldman Sachs, the Financial Times reports, citing unnamed sources. The paper offers no hints as to potential buyers or pricing.

The sale rumors come three and a half years after TA and Reverence Capital Partners bought Russell as planned in a $1.15-billion deal (with TA as the majority owner and Reverence taking a significant minority stake). A year later, Michelle Seitz joined Russell and took over as CEO.

Todd R. Crockett
TA Associates
Managing Director
When TA and Reverence bought Russell in 2016, the firm had $247 billion in AUM, so that $1.15-billion price tag translated into 0.47 percent of Russell's AUM. As of September 30, 2019, Russell had $292.7 billion in AUM (plus another $2.3 trillion in AUA), so at the 2016 price to AUM ratio one might expect a new price of around $1.36 billion.

Russell is a manager of managers, so perhaps another manager of managers or multiboutique asset manager would be interested to gain scale. Or perhaps other TA- or Reverence-backed firms might make moves. Reverence also backs Victory Capital, a now publicly traded multiboutique asset manager that's about half Russell's AUM (though Victory may be too busy digesting its biggest ever acquisition, which closed over the summer). Reverence also backs Advisor Group, a big network of B-Ds that's about to make a big acquisition of its own. As for TA, they back a smaller mutual fund shop, Stadion, that specializes in 401(k) managed accounts. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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