Merian Global Investors has acquired Kestrel Investment Partners’ £123m AUM multi-asset business, including its entire team under lead fund manager, co-founder and joint CEO of Kestrel John Ricciardi.
In addition to its current offering the Kestrel team are expected to launch a long/short strategy in early 2020 as part of Merian's wider growth plans.
The Kestrel Global Portfolio, which will adopt Merian branding upon the planned December acquisition completion, aims to achieve capital growth by directly investing in a diversified portfolio of asset classes across global markets, using a quantitative macro modelling process.
B share classes have returned 5.7%, 13.5% and 22.3% over one, three and five years respectively, according to FE. Meanwhile, the offshore FO Mixed Asset - Flexible sector average is up 7%, 11.2% and 32% over the same periods respectively.
The portfolio currently has around a 70/30 split between international equities and global government fixed interest.
Reporting to Merian CEO Mark Gregory, Ricciardi, who co-founded Kestrel in 2011, has over three decades of multi-asset investing experience, including six years as global head of asset allocation for Alliance Bernstein.
He will join alongside three analysts, and managers Ian Forrest and Dan Matthews, whom he has been working with for the past seven years.
The acquisition is Merian's first deal since it completed a management buyout in June 2018, but the group said the move reflected its "strategy to grow and diversify its investment capabilities in asset classes where it can add meaningful value for its clients".
Gregory said: "For some time we've been looking to selectively expand our investment proposition, aligned with client demand for differentiated, high-alpha active strategies that offer genuine portfolio diversification.
"The Kestrel multi-asset team's proven process is hugely compelling and I'm delighted that we've signed an agreement to secure its best-in-class business."
He added that Ricciardi, Forrest and Matthews "are hugely experienced and have a fantastic track record".
Gregory said: "With the backing of our strong distribution presence and the launch of a new long/short strategy, we're confident that we will be able to grow the team's assets under management."