Lyxor Asset Management SA is bringing its campaign to become a top 10 global money manager to the U.S. in 2010.
“Size is going to be the key,” said Laurent Seyer, CEO of Paris-based Lyxor. “In order to be global, we need to be in the top 10. We need to create a global player in this field.”
Mr. Seyer did not specify a time period for his goal, but consultants and bankers estimated Lyxor would need to increase its assets under management by about tenfold to have a chance at reaching that goal. Lyxor reported $118 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30. BlackRock Inc., New York, the world's largest manager, had about $3.2 trillion under management at the same time.
Lyxor's U.S. expansion plans are likely to focus on two categories: exchange-traded funds, which had $54 billion as of Sept. 30; and managed accounts and hedge funds of funds, which together totaled about $25 billion in assets under management.
“We're the second-biggest ETF provider in Europe and the fourth largest in the world,” Mr. Seyer said. “But we're not yet in the U.S. That is one of our goals — to find a way to be present in the U.S.”
Lyxor's ambitions will likely include an acquisition, according to several bankers. Mr. Seyer declined to specify whether the firm will grow through an acquisition in the U.S., but he did not rule out such an option. “What we decide will depend on what opportunities exist,” he added.
The firm's assets are still predominantly sourced from Europe, which accounts for about 65% of its total assets under management. Asia is the next largest region with about 15% of total assets under management. The remainder is spread throughout the rest of the world, including the U.S. (Lyxor officials declined to break out the assets under management from U.S. institutional clients.)
Officials at parent company Societe Generale SA did not include Lyxor as part of the merger, announced earlier this year, that combines a large chunk of Societe Generale Asset Management with Credit Agricole Asset Management.
“The rationale was that there is added value in Lyxor remaining independent as a niche player,” Mr. Seyer said.
In September, Lyxor acquired SGAM's U.S. alternative asset management unit as part of the global restructuring. The move added about $30 million to Lyxor's total assets and allowed the firm to directly market to clients in the U.S. for the first time. Mr. Seyer added: “This gives us more room for maneuvering.”
In November, Lyxor appointed Michael Bernstein as relationship manager to market the firm's strategies to institutional clients and consultants.