Geneva Capital Management sold to London investment firm

Milwaukee-based investment advisory firm Geneva Capital Management Ltd., which has $6.3 billion in assets under management, has sold its entire issued share capital to London-based Henderson Global Investors Ltd.

Reuters has reported the deal is worth up to $200 million.

Geneva was founded in 1987, and invests in mid- and small-cap U.S. growth equities. It has 25 employees and is 100 percent employee-owned. Its clients include institutional investors and high net worth individuals. The deal expands Henderson’s U.S. equity investment capabilities and client base.

Henderson, which has a U.S. corporate office in Chicago, has more than 800 employees worldwide and $121 billion in assets under management. Its client base is now split more evenly between retail and institutional.

Geneva’s Milwaukee operations, at 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., will remain in place. Its principals, who will join Henderson’s equities and North American management teams, have signed long-term employment contracts and agreements to reinvest net proceeds into Geneva products.

“Developing our presence in North America is a strategic priority for Henderson,” said Andrew Formica, chief executive of Henderson. “The acquisition of Geneva is a major step towards achieving our growth ambitions as a global asset manager. It will increase our assets under management in the US by over 50 percent, add investment management expertise in U.S. equities and extend our U.S. institutional client base.

“We look forward to working with the Geneva team to ensure that all of our clients benefit from our new partnership. Henderson clients will gain access to Geneva’s strong track record in identifying high quality growth companies in U.S. equities, while Geneva clients will continue to benefit from a stable team and an unchanged investment process, backed by a global pure play asset manager.”

The transaction is expected to close on October 1.

“The team at Geneva is excited to join Henderson. With the backing of a strong international partner who is very supportive of our existing investment strategy and platform, we look forward to taking our business to the next stage of its development.

“On behalf of our clients, we will continue to apply the same consistent investment approach and process that have generated strong risk-adjusted returns since our founding in 1987,” said Amy Croen, co-founder and managing principal of Geneva.

“This transaction will allow us to maintain a strong focus on our most important objective, managing our clients’ investments, while also growing our business,” said Michelle Picard, portfolio manager and managing principal of Geneva. “Cultural fit was an important consideration for both companies in reaching this agreement, and we are pleased to have found a partner like Henderson that shares our team-based and collaborative management style.”

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