German fund administrator Universal Investment has acquired a minority stake in investment firm Alumia in an effort to expand its range of services and advise pension funds on asset allocation.

Alumia’s management will continue to hold a majority stake, while Universal Investment will have a “significant minority stake”, it said in a statement.

Katja Müller, chief customer officer at Universal Investment, said: “Partnering with Alumia is an important milestone in our approach to further expand our existing distribution capabilities and boost our attractiveness as a fund service platform and super ManCo.”

According to a study on management companies (ManCos), published by PwC Luxemburg, Universal Investment ranks top of the list of third-party ManCos with assets under management (AUM) worth €118.9bn, and of third-party alternative investment fund managers (AIFM) with AUM of €102.2bn.

Luxemburg-based Alumia advises institutional investors including asset managers and asset owners, corporates and family offices.

The investment firm’s funds give investors access to private assets, senior secured loans, emerging and frontier markets, digital currencies, equity and corporate bonds strategies.

“For asset managers, building an experienced and global sales force, while meeting regulatory requirements and also using digital channels, has steadily become more challenging and costly,” added Alumina’s chief executive officer David Saab.

Universal Investment’s purchase of Alumia’s stake reinforces the firm’s aims to continue to grow its clients’ base, targeting new groups of international clients, and to expand its business, it said.

Alumia contributes to the expansion of Universal Investment’s fund business with active distribution in France, Benelux, and in Southern Europe.

Last month, Universal Investment announced the launch of a US equity fund in partnership with Canadian asset manager Montrusco Bolton.

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