Ancala will become the core of Vontobel's private markets offering for institutional clients. The firm has been offering investment solutions in private markets to selected wealth management clients since September, due to a cooperation agreement with Portfolio Advisors. The stake in Ancala expands the private markets offerings, a spokesperson said.
The size of the stake was not disclosed, but Vontobel has agreed to terms that will allow it to acquire the further remaining stakes over the longer term.
London-based Ancala was founded in 2010. It focuses on sourcing bilateral investment opportunities and has more than €4 billion ($4.4 billion) in assets under management. It manages 18 assets across renewable energy and energy transition, transport, utilities and the circular economy.
Ancala will continue to be run independently by its management team, led by Spence Clunie, managing partner. The firm will retain full independence over its investment and governance processes.
"This stake in Ancala is an important milestone in the execution of our strategy," said Christel Rendu de Lint, co-CEO and head of investments at Vontobel, in a news release. "Providing access to the highly attractive private infrastructure market means clients can benefit from stable, uncorrelated and inflation-protected cash yields, and long-term value creation through Ancala's active asset management and proprietary origination capabilities."
Georg Schubiger, co-CEO and head of wealth management at Vontobel, added that the deal diversifies the business "with an asset class that has significant long-term potential, thus attractively enhancing our offering for clients. We are fully aligned with the Ancala team to further develop this business and accelerate our international ambitions."
Vontobel will finance the deal with existing capital, the news release said. The deal is expected to close by the third quarter, subject to regulatory approval.
"Ancala is committed to a differentiated infrastructure investment strategy which delivers enhanced returns for investors looking for exposure to high-performing infrastructure investments," Clunie said in the release. "Vontobel's minority investment provides us with additional capital to deploy our proven strategy while also retaining our independence and autonomy."
Vontobel also said Feb. 8 that assets under management grew by 1.2% to 206.8 billion Swiss francs ($245.7 billion) in 2023. The firm also said it was reorganizing its three client units — asset management, wealth management and digital investing — into two client segments: private clients and institutional clients.