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Pollen Street Capital, MW Eaglewood to merge

Pollen Street Capital and MW Eaglewood will merge to create a £2 billion ($2.6 billion) firm focused on specialist lending assets, said a joint news release.

Private equity manager Pollen Street Capital, which was formed in November 2013 when the Royal Bank of Scotland private equity team spun out to establish an independent business, will become the majority shareholder in the combined firm.

MW Eaglewood is a private credit manager and part of the Marshall Wace Group of affiliated investment managers. Marshall Wace acquired a 90% stake in New York-based Eaglewood Capital Management in 2014. The stake was integrated with Marshall Wace’s existing peer-to-peer and online lending business assets to create MW Eaglewood Ltd.

The deal is set to close later this year, subject to regulatory approvals, said a spokeswoman for Marshall Wace. The combined firm will be called Pollen Street Capital, she said, and Marshall Wace will retain a substantial interest in the combined entity. Financial details were not disclosed, but the spokeswoman said this is a share-for-share exchange.

The MW Eaglewood team will move to Pollen Street Capital. Lindsey McMurray, managing partner and founder of Pollen Street Capital, will be the managing partner of the new firm.

The combined group will also manage investment trust P2P Global Investments PLC, currently managed by MW Eaglewood. The group will also continue to manage Honeycomb Investment Trust PLC that Pollen Street Capital already manages.

“This is an excellent outcome — good strategic outcome for P2P Global Investments PLC, and its shareholders,” Ms. McMurray said in the news release. “Good for both firms, and good for the industry. The combination of Pollen Street and MW Eaglewood is a very strong investment management entity, bringing deep capability in investment management, risk, compliance, analytics, technology and origination of both to the management of P2PGI and to the emerging opportunities across the specialist lending industry.”

Ian Wace, CEO of Marshall Wace, said in the same release: “The board of P2PGI challenged us to come up with a strategic solution for the management of the trust and to enhance returns. We accepted their challenge and the result is an outcome which is truly transformative, creating a major new industry player with deep and market-leading capability in specialist credit.”