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OppenheimerFunds to acquire SNW Asset Management


Asset manager OppenheimerFunds is to acquire SNW Asset Management, an independent firm that focuses on building and managing high quality fixed income portfolios in a customised and tax-efficient way.

The transaction expands OppenheimerFunds' fixed income offering into high quality municipal bonds and customised separately managed accounts, subject to closing conditions and consents.
"This is an exciting time for OppenheimerFunds. As with our most recent acquisitions of SteelPath and Revenue Shares, we expect that we can create significant value for all stakeholders by combining SNW's high demand investment and service engine with OppenheimerFunds' scale and national retail distribution," says Peter Mintzberg (pictured), chief strategy officer, OppenheimerFunds. "We will continue to seek opportunities to evolve our products and solutions in ways that are consistent with our clients' needs."
SNW began in 2002 as a subsidiary of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation, specialising in US dollar-denominated taxable and tax-exempt fixed income investment management, and in 2013 became an independent investment adviser. The firm has grown to USD2.7 billion (as of 28 February 2017) in assets under management and serves more than 1,800 clients on a separate account, actively managed basis. Clients include registered investment advisers, high net worth investors, corporations, trusts, government entities, financial institutions and non-profit organisations.
SNW CEO and lead portfolio manager Eddie Bernhardt says: "In OppenheimerFunds, we've found a firm with a philosophy and culture of excellence, collaboration and integrity, similar to ours. OppenheimerFunds' investment boutique approach will allow SNW to maintain its independence while leveraging the resources of a larger organization to continuously deliver a superior client experience, one of the pillars of our growth. We look forward to making our strategies available through OppenheimerFunds' trusted distribution channels, serving more clients, in a customised way."
Bernhardt and his team will remain based in Seattle and report to Krishna Memani, chief investment officer, OppenheimerFunds.
"Increasingly, wealth managers seek investment solutions that provide tax-efficient yield and capital preservation for their clients," says Art Steinmetz, chairman and CEO of OppenheimerFunds. "We're proud to expand our muni franchise with a partner who shares our investment rigor and excellence of client service."
The acquisition of SNW is a complement to the firm's existing platform of high yield municipal bonds. The firm's Rochester franchise, with USD23.4 billion in assets under management (as of 31 December 2016), is ranked number one by Barron's in Tax Exempt Bonds for 2016. 
OppenheimerFunds acquired Revenue Shares, based in Philadelphia, in December 2015, and in 2016 launched a suite of Smart Beta ETFs, including ESG offerings. In 2012 OppenheimerFunds acquired SteelPath, based in Dallas, which enables clients and their investors to participate in the income and tax advantages afforded by master limited partnerships.

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