NETHERLANDS - LMG Glocal, the parent company of Dutch institutional consultant LMG Emerge, has acquired Dutch asset manager AFS Capital for an undisclosed sum.

AFS Capital is a small asset manager serving private and smaller institutional investors.

It is widely known in the Netherlands for its strategist Kees de Kort, a market commentator on Dutch business radio.

LMG has acquired the manager from property manager Phanos, which ran into financial difficulties some time ago.

According to LMG Glocal chief executive Erik van Dijk, AFS's team of six deserves credit for its portfolio investment results during the period between 2008 and 2011, "particularly considering the difficult circumstances and troubles of their parent company".

LMG Emerge offers implemented consulting services to institutional clients with a focus on emerging and frontier markets.

Within the newly established LMG Glocal initiative, LMG will collaborate closely with its partner Emirates NBD Asset Management, based in Dubai, and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, based in Paris.

LMG Glocal's strategy is to combine the top-down expertise of LMG and capabilities of its partners with the bottom-up stock-picking expertise of local managers.

"In the institutional market," said Van Dijk, "initially, we will focus on offering our emerging and frontier market products, adding global products including developed markets over time."

He also said other acquisitions were to follow.

"We often collaborate with emerging market players, and, over the past few years, we have seen a rising interest in the European investment management industry," he said.

Van Dijk said parties in Russia and the Middle East in particular were attracted to European financial institutions' relatively low P/E ratios.

"We would not be at all surprised if the Dutch asset manager Robeco, which has just recently been put up for sale, were to attract a buyer from the Middle East or Russia, particularly as it has so many different specialties that could be split up after acquisition," he said. 

He said Robeco was too big for LMG to consider, but that LMG was "definitely in the market" to acquire other asset managers - and not necessarily of the same size range as AFS.

"AFS was a good first acquisition, as we were quite impressed with their performance considering the environment and the circumstances," he said.

"But we're ready to look at other managers, including some larger players."