Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali (Generali) is seeking to acquire a majority stake in French asset manager Sycomore Asset Management.
The Italian firm has entered into exclusive negotiations with the shareholders of the French asset manager.
Financial terms of the proposed acquisition were not disclosed.
Apart from the acquisition, Generali is also pursuing a partnership with Sycomore which holds €8.3bn of assets under management (AuM) as of July 2018.
For the insurance major, the proposed partnership with the French firm is part of its multi-boutique strategy in asset management, which was revealed by it in May 2017.
It plans to have Sycomore under its multi-boutique platform, which is coordinated by Generali Investments Partners. The Italian firm expects the French asset manager to play a key role in helping it become the leading multi-boutique platform in Europe.
Sycomore founding partner and CEO Emeric Préaubert said: “We are delighted to begin a new phase in our long-standing partnership with Generali. Demand for Socially Responsible Investment solutions is rising as investor awareness and appetite increase.
“Generali’s multi-boutique platform will enable us to capitalize on the significant opportunities that this offers, while also allowing us to retain the unique cultural attributes which have supported our success to date.”
According to Generali, Sycomore is a leading company in the ESG / SRI segment in France, which is considered to be the largest market for ESG / SRI investment solutions in Europe.
Generali group chief investment officer and asset & wealth management CEO Timothy Ryan said: “Today’s announcement is an acceleration of the execution of our asset management strategy: by partnering with Sycomore, we will be able to enrich our offer with innovative investment solutions targeted to our insurance and individual clients, and to strengthen our focus and capabilities on sustainability and responsible investments.”
The deal will see Sycomore’s founders continue to be significant shareholders while its employees would raise their ownership in the French asset manager. Generali said that the French company’s team would continue to execute its strategy and operations independently.