Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) is planning to use its acquisition of NN Investment Partners, announced earlier today, to reposition itself in European fiduciary management, IPE understands.

The deal, expected to close in Q1 2022, should also make GSAM a top-10 manager of non-group European institutional assets.

Speaking to IPE this morning, Fadi Abuali, CEO of GSAM International, said NNIP has “a strong platform within Benelux and we’re going to use that to further grow our FM business on the continent”.

GSAM once managed as much as around €10bn in Dutch fiduciary assets, according to data provided to IPE in 2010. Since then it has largely been absent from the market as a significant player.

In 2012 the firm was sued by a former fiduciary client, Pensioenfonds Vervoer, over the implementation of a high-yield mandate and issues concerning portable alpha.

GSAM settled the case out of court in 2014.

Abuali commented: “Those events were a long time ago. We learned a lot from those experiences, and we don’t see any impact on our business or reputation in the Netherlands today. If anything this morning we’ve been hearing a lot of very positive feedback from our clients.”

Adding NNIP’s €53bn non-group European institutional AUM, which is mainly fixed income, to GSAM’s roughly €119bn plus the €163bn in insurance assets from NN Group, would comfortably place GSAM within the top-10 managers for non-group European institutional assets.

GSAM will manage $190bn (€163bn) of NN Group insurance assets for a 10-year period as part of the acquisition, making it the leading manager of non-affiliated insurance assets globally with over $550bn in assets under supervision, according to a Goldman Sachs press statement.

NN Group earns around two-thirds of its revenue from insurance related activities and holds investment assets of around €185bn on its balance sheet. In April the group announced it was pursuing “strategic options” for NNIP. The deal adds 17 percentage points to its Solvency II ratio.

GSAM’s acquisition of NNIP also adds capabilities in areas like fundamental European equities and green bonds, which IPE understands GSAM was already looking to acquire, as well as sustainable and impact equity and investment-grade credit strategies.

NNIP manages around €6.1bn in European equity according to its website and around €3.8bn in green bonds.

NNIP’s alternative credit book is around €50bn and spans a range of sub-asset classes, including European ABS, commercial real estate and infrastructure debt, corporate loans, Dutch mortgages and trade finance. GSAM is mainly active in US mid-market corporate debt and multi-manager alternative credit, as well as direct and indirect real estate.

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