Henderson Group PLC has emerged as the leading bidder for the bulk of SunTrust Bank's money management arm, Atlanta-based RidgeWorth Capital Management Inc., according to bankers and industry executives, who declined to be named.
Roughly a year after acquiring London-based New Star Asset Management, Henderson Group, likewise based in London, appears to have the edge over other bidders, including AllianceBernstein LP, for the higher margin pieces of the business.
RidgeWorth Capital is a holding company with eight underlying money management boutiques that oversee combined client assets of roughly $65 billion. Sources say Henderson Group is interested in the group's roughly $36 billion of non-money market assets in a variety of institutional and retail fixed-income and equity strategies.
If completed, the deal would give Henderson Group, the holding company of Henderson Global Investors Ltd., the jewel in Ridgeworth's crown, Seix Investment Advisors LLC, an Upper Saddle River, N.J.-based fixed-income boutique with $24.6 billion in client assets, as well as a handful of smaller equity boutiques scattered across the country.
In order of client assets, those boutiques are Silvant Capital Management LLC, an Atlanta-based growth equity shop with $3.8 billion in assets; Ceredex Value Advisors LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based value equity manager with $3.1 billion; Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC, a Seattle-based growth equity firm with $2.2 billion; Certium Asset Management LLC, an Atlanta-based quant boutique with $1.8 billion; IronOak Advisors LLC, a Richmond, Va.-based core equity manager with $1 billion; and Alpha Equity Management LLC, a Hartford, Conn.-based 130/30 manager with $165 million.
Henderson Group isn't likely to acquire the group's Atlanta-based stable value and money market boutique, StableRiver Capital Management LLC, which has more than $28.2 billion in client assets, bankers say.