Schroders has agreed to offload its stake in RWC Partners, the British investment boutique from which it poached its chief executive, Peter Harrison, six years ago.
FTSE 100 fund manager Schroders bought a 49 per cent holding in RWC in 2010 and has seen the investment business rapidly grow its assets under management — from $2.2bn to $18bn.
Mr Harrison led RWC and switched to Schroders in 2013, initially as global head of equities, then as head of investment and finally rising to chief executive in 2016. He relinquished his role as chairman of RWC just before taking the top job at Schroders.
The deal involves Schroders selling the 41 per cent of RWC it currently holds, with several individual investors — including Mr Harrison — offloading an additional 6 per cent of the business. The shares are being bought back by RWC, its staff and US investment group Lincoln Peak Capital, which will take a 27 per cent stake in the business.
Terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.
“Lincoln Peak is a very attractive partner for us [that] has committed to our organisation for the next decade and beyond,” said Dan Mannix, chief executive of RWC. “Our priority has been to secure a shareholder who supports the commitments we have to our clients and investment teams.”
RWC focuses on active investing in a small number of areas, including convertible bonds, emerging and frontier markets and European equities, as well as funds that take a more activist approach to investing in European and Japanese companies.
Boston-based Lincoln Peak specialises in taking minority stakes in investment companies, especially where founders are selling out.
“This transaction and commitments made by various parties preserves RWC’s successful business model and improves the alignment between all of RWC’s stakeholders,” said Seth Brennan, co-founder and managing partner of Lincoln Peak.
Schroders declined to comment on the deal.
Schroders has turned its attention to global expansion, with a joint venture in China, and entering the wealth market. A collaboration with Lloyds Banking Group, known as Schroders Wealth, is due to launch next month.
In July Schroders bought a majority stake in impact investing specialist BlueOrchard Financial, in a deal valued at more than £100m.
At the time, Mr Harrison told the FT that buying the holding in Zurich-based BlueOrchard, which has $3.5bn under management, was part of a pattern of Schroders acquiring “single capability” investment companies alongside management teams.
Mr Harrison joined RWC in 2006, having been chief investment officer at JPMorgan. He started his career at Schroders as an equities analyst in 1988.
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