Amundi has entered into exclusive talks with Société Générale for the acquisition of rival Lyxor in a cash deal worth €825m, it announced this morning.

Amundi said the acquisition would make it the European leader in ETFs, with combined assets under management of €142bn and a 14% market share in Europe.

It would also complement its offering in active management, especially in liquid alternative assets and advisory solutions, it said.

The transaction is expected to be completed by February 2022 at the latest, and is subject to regulatory approval.

Certain Lyxor activities are excluded from the scope of the transaction, such as structured asset management solutions, which will be retained by Société Générale.

Amundi’s closing in on Lyxor comes as the former’s CEO, Yves Perrier, prepares to step down after 14 years at the helm.

He said: “The acquisition of Lyxor will accelerate the development of Amundi, as it will reinforce our expertise, namely in ETF and alternative asset management, and allows us to welcome highly recognised teams of people.”

He also said that “by creating in France the European leader in passive asset management, it will contribute to the post-Brexit positioning of the Paris financial centre”.

Valérie Baudson, who is to take over from Perrier in May, created and developed Amundi’s ETF, indexing and smart beta business, which she has been supervising. She said the combination of Amundi’s and Lyxor’s strengths “will allow us to accelerate our development in the ETF, alternative asset management and the investments solutions segments”.

Dan Izzo, CEO of GHCO, a liquidity provider specialising in ETFs, said the sale of Lyxor would play a significant role in shaping the European ETF industry over the next decade, although the US market was still dominant in terms of scale.

“Europe’s largest issuers have been competing for supremacy for a number of years now and this is a strong move for Amundi in the context of surging popularity of passive investment products,” he added.

CEO change at Natixis IM

Jean Raby is stepping down as CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, with Tim Ryan appointed to replace him, Natixis announced yesterday.

Ryan was most recently at Generali, having been group CIO for insurance assets and global CEO of its asset management business. Before that he worked at AllianceBernstein’s US asset management subsidiary as CEO in charge of various regions, and from 2000 to 2008 he was at AXA, most latterly as CIO for the insurance business in Asia.

Raby joined Natixis in 2017 from SFR, an integrated media/telecom operator in France. Natixis said he had decided to “pursue another professional opportunity”.

Nicolas Namias, CEO of Natixis and chairman of the Board of Directors of Natixis IM, said Raby had done “remarkable work” over his four years at the firm.

“Under his leadership, Natixis Investment Managers has asserted its position as a world leader in asset management with assets under management of more than €1.1trn and has built out its commercial offer with new affiliate asset managers and new areas of expertise.

“As we prepare to launch our new strategic plan for the period to 2024, I am delighted to welcome Tim Ryan to drive forward our robust momentum across our asset and wealth management businesses, develop our multi-affiliate model to serve our clients and enhance our ESG strategy.

“Tim Ryan’s in-depth knowledge of the asset and wealth management businesses, together with his international experience, leadership and business development skills, will be key advantages for Natixis and our group”.

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