Thirteen money management deals took place in the third quarter of 2019, a 46% decrease from the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2018, there were 28 transactions. Assets under management involved in the transactions totaled $314 billion, up 13% from $278.1 billion in the previous quarter and an increase of 52% from the same period a year ago.
In the third quarter, AXA Investment Managers agreed to acquire 100% stake in real estate investment trust NorthStar Realty Europe Corp. for an equivalent of $16.95 per share, based on spot foreign-exchange rates. Charles Schwab Corp. agreed to pay $1.8 billion to acquire the investment management arm of USAA, the insurance company that mainly serves military veterans and service members. Colony Capital acquired investment firm Digital Bridge for $325 million, resulting in a merged firm with $60 billion in total assets under management.
There also were 15 deals in the quarter that did not involve money managers. Swiss Re's U.K. business, ReAssure, agreed to acquire Quilter U.K.'s pension, investment and savings division for £425 million ($526 million) in cash. PCS Retirement acquired record-keeping firm Aspire Financial Services, creating a firm with more than $23 billion in combined assets under administration. MJ Hudson acquired environmental, social and governance consultant Spring Associates Responsible Investment Service in Amsterdam, which has €30 billion ($33.8 billion) in assets under advisement.
London Stock Exchange Group agreed to snap up Refinitiv in a $27 billion blockbuster deal and will take on a $13.5 billion bridge loan to cover Refinitiv's debts. Refinitiv's products include the Eikon terminal and the trading-execution system Redi, which competes with Bloomberg LP for offering financial news, data and information.
Hub International, a global insurance brokerage firm, acquired six firms in the quarter — WhartonHill Advisors, Perennial Pension & Wealth, EPIC Retirement Services Consulting, StoneStreet Pearl River, Washington Financial Group and Inter-Mountain Retirement Partners. The six acquisitions follow Hub's purchase of Peak Financial Group in March and Sheridan Road Financial in January. Ascensus acquired third-party administrator Beneco, a provider of retirement and health and welfare benefits administration services, from private equity firm Alpine Investors, the seventh acquisition by Ascensus since the third quarter of 2018.
All information is based on transactions reported by Pensions & Investments’ global reporting staff.