Legg Mason has announced a definitive agreement to acquire QS Investors, a leading customized solutions and global quantitative equities provider based in New York, with $4.1bn in assets under management and nearly $100bn in assets under advisory.
Legg Mason’s existing quantitative equity platform, Batterymarch Financial Management, and Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, its existing solutions platform, will be integrated over time into QS Investors as a result of this transaction. The combined platform will be a world-class retail and institutional solutions and global quantitative equity provider with compelling investment strategies and strong consultant relationships.
The expanded platform will be branded under the QS Investors name, and headed by Janet Campagna as Chief Executive Officer and Rosemary Macedo as Chief Investment Officer. Key investment professionals from Batterymarch and LMGAA will join the existing QS team as senior members.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first fiscal quarter of FY 2015. The acquisition and combination transaction is expected, excluding restructuring and transition costs, to be modestly accretive to Legg Mason’s earnings in the first year. In connection with the combination of the businesses, Legg Mason expects to incur restructuring and transition costs of approximately $35m, including $3m in the March 2014 quarter and $30m in fiscal year 2015. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The combined business will remain committed to delivering alpha for clients. This transaction strongly positions Legg Mason within the rapidly growing global client demand for customized solutions, liquid alternatives and smart beta strategies with:
• A scalable and distinct investment process and key capabilities in Custom Solutions, Liquid Alternatives, Global Quantitative Equities (including a 12-year track record in Smart Beta), and Multi-Manager Asset Allocation.
• A research-driven process with a strong track record in combining fundamental research, quantitative models and insights from behavioural finance to dynamically shift investment exposure based on changing market conditions and opportunities.
• Significantly enhanced capabilities and operational efficiencies to deliver outcome-oriented products and strategies.
• Compelling investment performance, a world-class technology platform and strong relationships across the consultant community.
• A broad institutional client base of public and private pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions.
• Post transaction, Legg Mason will leverage this enhanced solutions platform together with Legg Mason’s other investment affiliates and global distribution network for future growth in the institutional marketplace as well as with retail clients, where demand for customized solutions is increasing.
Joseph A. Sullivan, President and CEO of Legg Mason, said: 'Optimizing and expanding our portfolio of investment products has been a top priority for our senior management team. The combination of QS Investors’ highly regarded investment capabilities and thought leadership with our existing investment teams creates a powerful offering in an area of the market that is expected to experience significant growth in the coming decade. When we marry that with our global distribution platform, we believe we will be well positioned to bring compelling products to retail and institutional investors in markets around the world'.
Janet Campagna, CEO of QS Investors, said: 'QS Investors and Legg Mason share a ‘client first’ culture committed to transparency that will allow us to focus on investment strategies and serving our clients, and this unique combination will allow us to leverage Legg Mason’s global retail distribution platform, build and further strengthen our talented research and portfolio management teams, and continue to be at the forefront of innovative product development. Our objective over the next year is to integrate Batterymarch and LMGAA with our platform to leverage the best ideas from each group much like we’ve successfully adapted and efficiently integrated ideas both within and across asset classes for clients for over 14 years. We are confident in our ability to execute against this plan and especially pleased that our entire team continues to be focused on the long term success of our clients and business'.
Legg Mason was advised by Dechert, LLP and QS Investors was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.