Assicurazioni Generali entered into "exclusive" negotiations with money manager Sycomore Asset Management to acquire a majority stake in the French company, the Italian money manager and insurer said in a statement Thursday.
The move follows a multiboutique strategy that Generali announced in May 2017. The firm intends to bring its assets to €500 billion ($580 billion) by 2020. It currently manages €455 billion. Pending the outcome of negotiations, Sycomore's team would continue to run independently. But the two firms will form a strategic partnership that will enable them to potentially maximize revenue synergies. Generali cited ESG and socially responsible investing expertise as key factors behind the intention to acquire the French manager, which has €8.3 billion ($9.6 billion) in assets under management.
"Today's announcement is an acceleration of the execution of our money management strategy: by partnering with Sycomore, we will be able to enrich our offer with innovative investment solutions targeted to our insurance and individual clients, and to strengthen our focus and capabilities on sustainability and responsible investments," said Timothy Ryan, group chief investment officer and CEO of asset and wealth management, in a news release.
Emeric Préaubert, founding partner and CEO of Sycomore Asset Management, added in the release: "Demand for socially responsible investment solutions is rising as investor awareness and appetite increase. Generali's multiboutique platform will enable us to capitalize on the significant opportunities that this offers, while also allowing us to retain the unique cultural attributes which have supported our success to date."
Any future agreement remains subject to the consultation of Sycomore's worker council and authorization of the relevant antitrust and regulatory authorities.
Officials from Generali and Sycomore could not be immediately reached for additional information.