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ESG: The metrics jigsaw

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AM roundup: StepStone, Swiss Capital, AllianzGI, Sound Harbor, Moody's

StepStone Group LP, a US private markets and real assets investor, today announced that it has closed the acquisition of Zurich-based Swiss Capital Alternative Investments.

The transaction was originally announced in May this year and had been subject to regulatory approvals.

Swiss Capital is a private debt and hedge fund “solution provider” with more than $6.5bn (€6bn) in assets, targeting institutional investors primarily in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

StepStone is a global private markets firm with around $28bn in assets and overseeing more than $100bn of private capital allocations.

As part of its acquisition of Swiss Capital, it launched a private debt and hedge fund platform.

It will expand StepStone’s European presence to around 90 professionals across three offices.

Swiss Capital’s management team will continue to lead the private debt and hedge fund teams and be responsible for the management of the two businesses.

In other news, Allianz Global Investors is to acquire Sound Harbor Partners, a US private credit manager.

The firm will be part of AllianzGI’s private debt platform, which will incorporate the Sound Harbor team.

The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Sound Harbor is led by Michael Zupon, a former partner at the Carlyle Group, and Dean Criares, a former partner of the Blackstone Group.

Sound Harbor is focused on alternative investments in corporate loans, direct lending, distressed debt and opportunistic credit.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

Lastly, Moody’s has changed its outlook on the global asset management industry from stable to negative.

It said this was because “the acceleration of flows into low-fee passive products from actively managed funds, and regulatory initiatives constraining sales, have disrupted the industry”.

The ratings agency said proposals recently announced by the Financial Conduct Authority “to reshape UK asset management” were credit negative for active managers.

In mid-November, the UK regulator published its interim report on its asset management market study, saying that it found weak price competition among actively managed funds.

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