M and A

INTERVIEW: UK Specialist Investment House Seeks New Brand Identity

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London August 15, 2013

INTERVIEW: UK Specialist Investment House Seeks New Brand Identity

The chief executive
of SVG Investment Managers is looking for a new, distinctive name for this
business after its parent, UK-based SVG Capital, agreed to sell it to Swiss-headquartered
Hansa Aktiengesellschaft.

Hansa, which has
more than $1.8 billion of assets, has agreed – subject to regulatory clearance –
to buy a business which has around £200 million ($309 million) of assets. Hansa
will be the majority stakeholder in SVGIM, with the senior management of SVGIM
holding a significant minority stake. Hansa will also acquire SVG Capital’s
holdings in certain SVGIM managed funds.

"We will have a new brand
that is recognisable as us," Adam Steiner, SVGIM’s CEO, told this
publication in an interview. He said that it was necessary to distinguish
between the firm and the old parent, SVG Capital, which
is very much a private equity business.

 "Hansa decided that it wanted a team in London and looked for one with cash-flow
based investing with large-caps and a constructive engagement and shareholder
activism approach."

"They [Hansa] can access
our skills and management, mostly in public equities. Their large shareholding
will fund growth in our business,” he continued, arguing that SVG
IM's work in advisory and discretionary asset management will benefit,
he said.

Although not central to the
Hansa reason for buying SVG, the Retail Distribution
Review has benefited those asset managers able to put consistent strong
performance and quality on the table, as SVG has been
able to do, he said.

"People will look even more
at you with your risk-adjusted numbers," he said. "The emphasis with
us remains on quality and performance not gathering of assets," he said.
"We want to retain our style of investing,” he said.

"We look at what firms are
worth, not just in what you see from the public equity side, but from a trade
buying and private equity point of view as well.

In terms of scale, the fund
management firm could grow to £500 million or so in the next few years, but given
its specialist form of investing, there is an upper limit on AuM in its UK corporate
engagement strategy, he said.

"A couple of billion is more than
enough for us to work effectively,” he added.

Register for FamilyWealthReport today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes