Axa is to sell its Architas UK investment business to asset manager Liontrust in a deal worth up to £75m ($92.4m, €82m).
The acquisition comprises Architas Multi-Manager and Architas Advisory Services.
The UK fund management team, headed by Sheldon Macdonald, will join Liontrust and merge with its multi-asset investment team, led by John Husslebee.
Macdonald will become deputy head of multi-asset.
Architas’ UK distribution team will also merge with Liontrust as part of the deal.
Folding Architas’ funds into Liontrust’s range will create a multi-asset multi-manager proposition, bringing in £6.6bn in assets under management and advice (AuMA), meaning that Liontrust will have a total of £25bn in AuMA at completion.
John Ions, chief executive of Liontrust, said: “The Architas UK investment business is an important strategic acquisition for us to meet the growing demand for investment solutions from advisers and their clients over the next few years.
“It builds on and complements our existing investment solutions of multi-asset portfolios, sustainable managed and equity income funds.”
Focus on advice
Ions added that the deal will help Liontrust grow its offering to financial advisers, who are the asset manager’s key clients in the UK.
“Buying the Architas UK investment business will expand our distribution among financial advisers through the scale of the combined businesses, the strength of the merged investment team, the broad range of multi-asset multi-manager portfolios and funds and enhanced client service.
“Financial advisers are key clients for Liontrust because of the responsibility they have as guardians of people’s savings. By offering both risk profiled funds and target risk portfolios, we will help advisers to meet their suitability requirements by being able to choose the solution that best meets their clients’ individual needs for investment and risk.
“Combining the teams led by John Husselbee and Sheldon Macdonald will give us significant capability in multi-asset multi-manager investments.
“A key attraction of the acquisition is the ability to strengthen the digital support we can provide financial advisers and their clients,” he added.