Strategic acquisition broadens client offering
On 12 April we were pleased to announce the acquisition of the EMEA and Asia Pacific asset management business of BMO. This is an exciting next step for Columbia Threadneedle, adding complementary talent and capabilities that will deliver meaningful value for our clients. We understand the importance of maintaining stability and continuity as we proceed gradually from here. For our existing clients, it will be business as usual with no impact on your current funds and portfolios.
Importantly, we are a people business, and strong cultural alignment between Columbia Threadneedle and BMO was a critical factor. We share a client-centric culture, fundamental belief in active management, collaborative and research-based investment approach, and long-held commitment to responsible investment principles.
The acquisition adds a substantial presence in the European institutional market and considerably expands our investment capabilities and solutions to meet growing client demand. It will add $124 billion of assets under management in EMEA, and brings Columbia Threadneedle’s total AUM to $671 billion, making the firm a top 35 global asset manager and top 10 manager of UK fund assets, based on AUM*.
BMO Asset Management has leading positions in areas that will add new capabilities as well as enhance our established strengths. These include:
Responsible Investment (RI) – A recognised leader with a broad range of specialist Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) products and an excellent responsible engagement overlay service that provides corporate engagement on equity and bond holdings, as well as proxy voting services
Liability Driven Investing (LDI) – A top four LDI business in Europe, dominant in the small/mid-market sector
Fiduciary/outsourced management (OCIO) – A key solutions business that includes fiduciary teams based in the Netherlands and UK
European Real Estate – A continental European direct real estate capability, based in Germany and France.
We will also add depth and breadth in traditional asset classes. BMO’s European fund range comprises several publicly traded investment trusts, including F&C Investment Trust PLC, the world’s longest-tenured investment trust, which complements our Tri-Continental Corporation, the longest-tenured closed-end fund in the US.
In North America, we will establish a strategic relationship with BMO Wealth Management to serve the asset management needs of their clients. BMO clients will have the opportunity to move assets to Columbia Threadneedle and we will also establish a distribution agreement between the two firms.
We expect the transaction to close towards the end of 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals in relevant jurisdictions. In the meantime, we remain focused on delivering for our clients. Over time we look forward to broadening our offering with new capabilities and enhancing our teams by bringing together talent and expertise from both organisations.
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* Sources: IPE Top 500 Survey 2020. Top 50 Global Managers ranking; Investment Association – Companies by total retail and institutional funds under management (UK domiciled assets) November 2020