Ameriprise Financial is close to purchasing Grail Advisors, according to people familiar with the situation.
Those sources also said an announcement of the deal is imminent.
The purchase of Grail would get Ameriprise into the active ETF market, which is fast-gaining in popularity.
Grail first disclosed news of a potential sale in a Jan. 5 filing with the SEC. In a Jan. 6 interview with InvestmentNews, William M. Thomas, Grail's CEO, said the firm was in talks with a “well-known firm in the money management space that is just as excited about the active ETF space as we are.” He declined to name the firm but did say it wasn't a firm that currently does business with Grail.
Terms of the deal couldn't be determined by press time. Mr. Thomas didn't immediately return a call and e-mail for comment. Benjamin Pratt, a spokesman for Ameriprise, didn't return a call immediately.
Grail, which launched its first active ETF in May 2009, has had a tough time gaining assets. In August, Grail closed two of its ETFs: the Grail RP Financials and Grail RP Technology. The funds, which were launched in September 2009, were managed by RiverPark Capital and had $2.5 million in assets each. Grail currently has five funds with a total of more than $20 million in assets.
Jessica Toonkel is a reporter with InvestmentNews, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.