Artio Global Investors Inc.'s pending acquisition by Aberdeen Asset Management will be an inglorious end to a once high-flying money manager that made its name with strong international equity performance.
That performance has fallen hard — so much so that the Feb. 14 announcement by Aberdeen that it acquired New York-based Artio for $175 million was focused more on Artio's fixed-income assets, with scant mention of the international stock capability.
The price tag includes Artio's net asset value of $141 million in cash and seed investments, for a premium of about $34 million.
Completion of the deal in the next several months will be the final act for a firm, once a part of Julius Baer, that saw its assets under management plunge to $14.5 billion at the end of 2012 from $55.8 billion when it went public in 2009. It will be the end of the Artio brand.
“We will not keep the Artio name,” said Gary Marshall, Americas CEO at Aberdeen Asset Management Inc., based in Philadelphia.
“Our high-grade and global high-yield teams will form a core part of Aberdeen's fixed-income capabilities, enhanced by the depth of its resources,” Anthony Williams, Artio CEO, said in a statement Feb. 14.
“We will continue to manage our international equity and global equity strategies until the anticipated closing date, at which time Aberdeen will assume investment management responsibilities for them, subject to client consent.” Repeated efforts to contact Mr. Williams were unsuccessful.
Artio's assets under management — about $4.6 billion in equity and $9.8 billion in fixed income — would raise Aberdeen's worldwide AUM to about $328 billion.
In a conference call with analysts following the acquisition announcement, Martin Gilbert, CEO of Scottish parent company Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, said Aberdeen “expected to lose all” of the international equity assets.