PGI acquires majority stake UK’s Origin Asset Management

Asset manager Principal Global Investors LLC is to take a 74% stake in UK-based Origin Asset Management LLP, a global equity specialist, for some $66m (£40.7m).

Jim McCaughan, chief executive officer of Principal Global Investors (PGI), which is a member of the Principal Financial Group, said Origin’s proven capabilities in managing global equities will be very attractive to PGI clients and advisors.

London-based Origin was founded in May 2005 in partnership with IPGL, a private holding company in which chairman Michael Spencer, his wife and family trusts, are majority shareholders.

IPGL’s holdings include ICAP Plc, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker ; City Index, which provides contracts for difference for retail investors; Governance for Owners Group LLP, an investment manager dedicated to long term shareholder value; and in AIS, the hedge fund administrator headquartered in New Jersey.

Origin manages some £2bn in equity portfolios on behalf of major institutional clients worldwide, and recently launched a Global Smaller Company and an Emerging Market Fund. “Origin’s strong reputation and distinct investment expertise complements our existing product suite,” said McCaughan. “This partnership also increases our investment capabilities in emerging markets and in global small and mid-cap companies, where additional high-quality investment capacity is much sought after, but in relatively short supply.”

Nigel Dutson, managing partner of Origin, said the partnership would allow the firm to develop its business around the world while maintaining operating independence, distinctive investment process and organizational culture.

The transaction is expected to close in October, pending regulatory approval. Origin partners will retain a 26% stake in the business and reinvest a substantial sum into funds managed by the firm. All passive investors in Origin, including IPGL, will sell their entire holdings to The Principal Group.

This is the third acquisition this year announced by Principal Financial Group. In May, the Group’s Board of Directors also renewed authorization to repurchase up to $250m of the company’s outstanding common stock.

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