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Legg Mason acquires UK equity manager Martin Currie

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Legg Mason has acquired $9.8bn (€7.3bn) UK asset manager Martin Currie in a deal that will see the equity manager retain its identity.

The deal, for which the acquisition price was not disclosed by either party, is set to finalise by the fourth quarter of the year.

It will see Martin Currie’s six offices remain, while the $2.5bn Legg Mason Australian Equities will be rebranded to reflect the company’s new brand.

Legg Mason highlighted that the acquisition would expand its equity capabilities across a number of asset classes, including Japan, China and emerging markets.

Joe Sullivan, president and chief executive at Legg Mason, said the addition was the “perfect strategic fit” for the company.

“Martin Currie’s active international equity capabilities fill our largest product gap and are a perfect complement to our existing investment capabilities,” he said.

His counterpart at Martin Currie, Willie Watt, said the pairing was “ideal” and would allow the firm to grow its business further.

A joint statement by the companies indicated that there would be no management changes as part of the transaction, noting that the management team had signed new long-term contracts in conjunction with the deal.

The deal is not the first, or largest, asset management acquisition in the market this year.

The end of March saw the acquisition of F&C Asset Management by Bank of Montreal finalise, as well as Standard Life Investments buy Ignis Asset Management.

According to KPMG, the number of deals will only increase in the coming years, with the consultancy predicting the number of asset managers will halve by 2030.

For more on the state of the global asset management industry, see IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers

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