Cortina Asset Management to be sold in $45 million deal

Coins stacked

Milwaukee-based Cortina Asset Management LLC has agreed to be acquired by New York-based Silvercrest Asset Management Group Inc. for about $45 million, according to a new SEC filing.

Coins stacked

The agreement was signed April 12, and the deal is expected to close within 120 days. The transaction includes substantially all of the assets of Cortina, which manages $1.7 billion in small cap growth equity strategies. Silvercrest agreed to pay an aggregate maximum of $44.9 million, 80% of which would be paid in cash and 20% in Silvercrest stock to certain principals. The agreement also provides for another $26.2 million in an earn-out, with 80% in cash and 20% in Silvercrest stock to certain principals, over four years. The filing indicates at least some Cortina employees will join Silvercrest.

Founded in 2004, Cortina is an independent firm focused on small cap portfolio management for public and private companies and high net worth individuals. It specializes in a thematic-based approach with its Small Cap Growth and SMID Growth Strategies, and a franchise company approach in its Small Cap Opportunity Strategy, according to its website. It lists 10 employees on its site.

Silvercrest is an independent, employee-owned registered investment advisor established in 2002. It has about $19 billion in assets under management for family and select institutional clients. The firm has offices in New York, Boston, Virginia, New Jersey and California.

“We have long sought the right partner to establish an innovative and high-caliber growth equity capability at the firm,” said Richard Hough III, chairman and chief executive officer of Silvercrest, in a press release. “Silvercrest seeks to combine strong intellectual capital within a supportive partnership culture to benefit institutional and individual investors alike. We found terrific professionals at Cortina who are committed to their investment craft, to each other and to our partnership. We are excited to support their special talent and to further support and enhance their strategies in the marketplace, setting the stage for our next phase of growth.”

Cortina’s founding principals are John Potter, Tom Eck and Brian Bies. Chief operating officer and chief compliance officer Lori Hoch is also a principal.

“In Silvercrest, we found a client-driven firm that acts and thinks just like us,” Potter said in the release. “Solidifying our boutique investment management practice for our clients is our singular focus. We are delighted that we will invest, trade and service client assets in the same manner as we have since 2004. With Silvercrest, our investment team will enjoy deeper research resources and greater scale. As important, our employee-owner culture will seamlessly meld with the Silvercrest partnership model that works tirelessly for and with clients.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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