Affiliated Managers Group is rebranding Managers Investment Group, its domestic retail distribution business, as AMG Funds and aligning Aston Asset Management within the AMG Funds business.
Through this process, 39 mutual funds available through Managers Investment Group will be rebranded as AMG Funds in the second quarter of 2014, a step which will more closely associate the identity of these funds with AMG.
In addition, AMG will exercise its option included in the original agreement with Aston to acquire the balance of the equity of Aston that it does not already own. Aston will remain a distinct business within AMG Funds, serving the Aston Funds and shareholders with its own management and sales teams and back office. The transaction, which has been approved by the trustees of the Aston Funds, is subject to the approval of Aston mutual fund shareholders and is expected to close by 1 June.
"We believe AMG has a tremendous opportunity to gain additional market share as US retail investors seek actively managed, return-oriented investment strategies," says Sean M Healey (pictured), chairman and chief executive officer of AMG. "The steps we are taking – the rebranding of Managers Investment Group as AMG Funds and the alignment of Aston Asset Management within our retail platform – reflect our commitment to make the most of this opportunity by building our scale and capabilities. By leveraging the AMG name into our retail business, we will enable our Affiliates to better capitalise on the AMG brand as they bring world-class products to market."
Established in 2005, Managers Investment Group is a wholly-owned AMG subsidiary with USD58bn in assets under management, assets under service and sub-advised assets. The firm provides access to many of AMG's Affiliates through its family of mutual funds, separately managed accounts and asset allocation products. In addition, the firm oversees and distributes a number of complementary, open-architecture mutual funds managed by non-AMG Affiliates. While the names of funds currently branded under Managers Investment Group will change, the ticker symbols will remain the same. There is no change to the legal or ownership structure of the funds and the name change will have no impact on their management.
Based in Chicago, Aston is the principal advisor to the Aston Funds, which offers sub-advised investment products to the mutual fund and managed account markets, including 23 sub-advised, no-load mutual funds. In 2010, AMG acquired a substantial majority of the equity in Aston, which had USD15bn in assets as of 30 September 2013. AMG will exercise the option included in the original agreement with Aston to acquire the balance of the equity that it does not already own.
Aston will be restructured to become part of AMG's US retail distribution platform through the newly rebranded AMG Funds, but will continue to operate as an independent business with its own fund family, sales force and back office. Stuart Bilton, Aston's founder, chairman and chief executive officer, will report to Andrew C Dyson, AMG's executive vice president and head of global distribution.
"Aston has an excellent track record of delivering value to its clients by partnering with boutique asset managers around the world," Dyson says. "These steps will allow Aston to maintain its autonomy and distinctive approach, while enabling clients of both Aston and AMG Funds to capture the benefits of scale over time."
Following the closing of the transaction, AMG's US retail distribution platform will include approximately USD73bn in assets across 62 mutual funds and sub-advised products.