Last week, Swedish insurance broker and financial house Max Matthiessen acquired domestic fund manager Naventi. The deal is part of the Max Matthiessen's long-term plan to grow its assets under management to well over SEK 100bn (EUR 9.8bn).
Acquiring Naventi brought it up to SEK 68bn (EUR 6.7bn) from SEK 48bn (EUR 4.7bn). The firm wants to be twice as big in Sweden in the next three to five years, according to a goal set by CEO Jacob Schlawitz.
Despite considering several managers, Naventi stood out for Max Matthiessen, the brokerage firm's Head of Asset and Wealth Management, Sebastian Siegl, tells AMWatch.
"We did for sure analyze a number of companies and still have a list of candidates we are exploring. We really liked Naventi on a stand-alone basis with the strong investment performance they have showcased for a prolonged period of time. Also, the funds' exposure fits in extremely well with our client offering," Siegl says.
Naventi manages four funds: one equity fund, one corporate bond fund and two multi-asset funds.
The ambition to reach and surpass SEK 100bn (EUR 9.8bn) in AUM won’t just be fulfilled by acquisitions, but also through organic growth. Nevertheless, Max Matthiessen wants to do more deals like this.
"We would love to do more in this field. However, we are not interested in just buying assets, but are looking for good managers that will add something extra to our offering," Siegl says, before adding a specific area of interest:
"Thematic funds could be of interest or managers with a clear spike in general."
Not just about growth
Max Matthiessen has recently implemented several initiatives to improve its offering, including a partnership with Goldman Sachs, which AMWatch reported in the beginning of May.
The exclusive partnership means that Max Matthiessen will offer its clients Goldman Sachs Asset Management's solutions, both in the regular savings offering as well as in the wealth management and discretionary mandates.
Other initiatives include the partnership with former ATP and Ontario Teacher's Pension CIO Bjarne Graven Larsen's Qblue Balanced and the launch of an Article 9 fund through fund subsidiary Navigera. Acquiring Naventi is another part of the recent growth and development.
"That is correct. It is not just about growth though; I want to be clear about that. All in all, it is about creating client value and we believe there is a clear connection between client value enhancement as well as growth. We have invested tremendous resources and time in our co-operation with Goldman Sachs and re-invented or re-designed our product offering. We have also implemented "a house view approach" with Goldman in order to safeguard a common theme in all that we do in the investment space," Siegl says.
In the summer, CEO Jacob Schlawitz also put a new management group in place in order to focus on key growth areas that he has identified. Prioritized areas for future growth are life and pensions, asset management, private banking and non-life insurance.
Strong response to new fund
The partnership with QBlue and fund launch of Global Sustainable Leaders has got off to a satisfying start, according to Siegl.
The fund went live on April 29, so Siegl is keen to point out that it’s a short period to gauge anything from - but the fund has outperformed its benchmark.
According to Navigera's fund details, the benchmark Morningstar Gbl Markets is up 7.95 percent since April 29, while Global Sustainable Leaders is up 14.09 percent in the same period.
"The interest amongst advisors and clients has been what we expected, which is very good. I do not want to talk about fund specific AUMs, but we are looking to increase our sustainable offering going forward. That is a megatrend I am willing to subscribe to, and I think the way we approach it is very sensible from a risk adjusted return point of view," he says.
One of the reasons that pensions are a key growth area going forward is a new regulation in Sweden that came into effect on April 1, which allows for easier and - even more crucial - cheaper transfer of capital.
Max Matthiessen has been active in the space, although this has not been widely publicized yet.
"We have launched a new set of pension products. In the Swedish market there have been some significant changes to the transfer rights with regards to pensions and these products ties into that," Siegl says, and concludes:
"We have developed the range together with Goldman Sachs Asset Management. These are competitively priced products with different risk levels that are quite suitable in the context, and which are based on the notion of the house view which I mentioned earlier."
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