GLOBAL - Insurance group Marsh & McLennan is selling of Boston-based Putnam Investments for $3.9bn (€2.96bn) to Great-West Lifeco, part of Montreal-based Power Financial Corporation.

With the acquisition of Putnam, Great-West Lifeco will gain €156bn in assets under management, with almost €38bn coming from institutional clients worldwide and €4bn from European institutional clients, according to IPE's Top 400 Asset Manager figures. A large part of Putnam's institutional assets are pension assets - 43% as of June 2006.

It is one of the oldest and largest investment management firms in the US, investing largely in US equity and European fixed income markets.

Marsh & McLennan, the parent company of Mercer and Putnam, is expected to close the transaction with Great-West Lifeco by the middle of the year.

Putnam will retain its brand, operations, personnel and head offices in Boston, the company said in a statement. President and CEO Charles E Haldeman, Jr and his executive team will continue to lead Putnam

"Putnam was fortunate to have a number of interested purchasers," Haldeman commented. "We are joining the Power Financial group because it is in the best long-term interests of our investors, clients, financial advisers, strategic partners and employees."

Power Financial pointed to the strategic fit of the two businesses, with the opportunities for growth in the US and to enhance their existing international operations, particularly in Japan and Europe.

Earlier this month it was reported that Putnam had lost a £77m (€114m) global equity mandate with the £780m Southwark pension fund in the UK. At the DKK 22.9bn (€3bn) Danish Teachers' Pension and Life (Lærernes Pension) pension fund Putnam was put under review in a high yield portfolio restructuring.