Henderson Global Investors and Janus Capital are to merge, creating a $320bn-plus (€285bn) asset manager focused on active fund management.

The new group will be called Janus Henderson Global Investors.

The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

Announcing the merger plan today, Henderson said it was an “exciting development” for the two companies “and for the future of high-quality, active fund management”.

It added: “We believe that greater scale provides a number of important benefits for our clients.” 

The US and UK-based companies will merge by way of an all-stock “merger of equals”, with the combined group calculated as having a market capitalisation of around $6bn.

The board is due to be led by Henderson chairman Richard Gillingwater, with Janus’s Glenn Schafer becoming deputy chair.

The chief executives at Henderson and Janus – Andrew Formica and Dick Weil, respectively – will jointly lead the new group as co-chief executives, with the support of a new executive committee.

Weil said the merger would be “transformational” for both managers.

“Janus brings a strong platform in the US and Japanese markets, complemented by Henderson’s strength in the UK and European markets,” he said.  

“The complementary nature of the two firms will facilitate a smooth integration and create an organisation with an expanded client-facing team and product suite, greater financial strength and enhanced talent – benefiting clients, shareholders and employees.”

The executive committee of the new group will include Enrique Chang, head of investments at Janus, as global CIO of the combined group, and Phil Wagstaff, global head of distribution at Henderson, as the new global head of distribution.

Japanese insurer Dai-ichi, the largest shareholder of Janus, has given its support for the merger.

After the merger, it will hold around 9% of the combined group, with intentions to increase its ownership interest to at least 15%.

On a pro forma basis, the assets under management of the combined group will be approximately 54% Americas, 31% EMEA and 15% pan-Asia.