(pictured: Andrew Mckinnon)
Grant Samuel Funds Management will look to broaden the range of its funds for distribution in Australia, as well as offering its locally owned boutiques a new international distribution arm, following the deal with Canada’s CI Financial Corp.
The investment bank Grant Samuel Group announced last week that it would sell its 80 per cent holding in Grant Samuel Funds Management, which it established in 2007, to the Toronto-listed CI Financial. While the terms were not disclosed, this looks like a good deal for all parties.
For Grant Samuel Funds Management (GSFM), as the firm will continue to be called for the time being, it means it has a new major shareholder which is very similar to itself but very much larger. CI Financial is both a multi-affiliate manager and distributor of some of its sub-advisors’ strategies. It has total assets under management of C$112 billion (A$108.9 billion) and a further C$37 billion under advice through wealth management platforms.
GFSM has an ownership stake in one affiliate, Tribeca Investment Partners, and distributes for Australian manager Triple Three Partners and international managers Epoch Investment Partners and Payden & Rygel.
The two groups are not strangers to each other either. Epoch is also one of CI’s sub-advisors in Canada, for which it also provides distribution, and suggested the connection as CI looks to expand globally.
Damien McIntyre, GSFM director and head of distribution, said that, over time and where appropriate, GSFM would look to bring some of CI’s managers to Australia and, equally, CI would be able to provide Canadian distribution for GSFM managers.
“Also, if the opportunity presents itself, the CI link will enable us to more readily seed a new boutique.”
This is CI’s first move on international distribution outside Canada apart from an earlier position in another of its sub-advisors, Altrinsic Global Advisors.
Greenwich-based Altrinsic, which has a Toronto office, too, as well as London, is distributed in Australia by NAB Asset Management, a rival multi-affiliate manager and incubator. Both NAB and CI have minority stakes in Altrinsic, which also has a Sydney-based employee, marketer Simon Blanchflower.
McIntyre said that there had been no discussion on any possible change in arrangements for Altrinsic in Australia.
The senior management and staff of GSFM, led by chief executive and founder Andrew McKinnon, will retain their 20 per cent shareholdings in the firm.
CI Financial has ownership of two main global asset management brands, Signature Global Asset Management and Cambridge Global Asset Management.
Andrew McKinnon said in a prepared statement: “With this transaction, GSFM gains the backing of an accomplished asset management and distribution firm that is one of the largest investment fund companies in Canada.
“The CI business model is similar to the GSFM model and the two businesses are culturally aligned… CI initially approached GSFM as a potential distribution relationship but during negotiations found a partner who could help accelerate its efforts in Australia.”
Doug Bartlett, chief executive of the Grant Samuel Group, said that while the company had no previous intention to sell its stake, it decided that this was the best course for both businesses in the long-term.
Peter Anderson, chief executive of CI, said: “CI has been looking for an opportunity to further expand outside Canada, and Australia was identified as an attractive market, with strong organic growth and a sophisticated investor base.”