Generali Investment Holdings agreed to acquire $157 billion institutional and insurance asset manager Conning Holdings and its affiliates from Cathay Life, a spokeswoman for Generali confirmed.
Conning is known for its insurance and institutional fixed-income business. Generali will also acquire its affiliates: bank loans, collateralized loan obligations and specialty credit firm Octagon Credit Investors; Global Evolution, which specializes in emerging markets debt; and debt and equity real estate manager Pearlmark.
The deal — which is set to complete in the first half of 2024, subject to a customary regulatory review — will create a €650 billion ($708.2 billion) asset manager, Generali said in a news release.
It will also establish a 10-year partnership between Generali and Cathay Life, under which Generali will manage some of Cathay Life's insurance AUM.
Generali Investment is a subsidiary of Generali Group.
Under the terms of the deal, Cathay Life will become a minority shareholder of Generali Investment and is expected to own 16.75% of the manager's share capital.
Conning and its affiliates will continue to operate autonomously, Generali said.
When the deal closes, Conning and its affiliates will become part of Generali Asset Management but will continue to be led by the current management teams, reporting to Woody Bradford, CEO and chairman of the Conning Holdings board.
"Through the acquisition of Conning and the long-term partnership with Cathay Life, we will enhance our asset management capabilities, strengthen our footprint in the key U.S. and Asian markets, and create a platform to deliver on our broader asset management strategic ambitions in order to maximize value for all stakeholders, including Generali's insurance business," Philippe Donnet, Generali Group CEO, said in the release.
Mr. Bradford added in the release: "This is a highly complementary business combination that presents exceptional long-term opportunities for Conning and its affiliates — maintaining our firm's ability to provide performance and service to our clients while extending our global investment capabilities. We believe this transaction provides stability for our clients and employees, maintains continuity of leadership and strategy, and will generate new collaboration opportunities with Generali and its affiliates to strengthen both firms."
Ardea Partners and Bank of America Securities acted as financial advisers. Law firm Linklaters acted as legal adviser to Generali.