Mergers and Acquisitions

Toronto firm acquires Milwaukee investment company; Johnson Financial Group finalizes sale of Swiss subsidiary; RCB Awards acquires Brookfield Awards

Toronto firm acquires Milwaukee investment company

Toronto-based Manulife Asset Management has acquired the assets of Optique Capital Management, a Milwaukee-based registered investment adviser.

As of Dec. 31, Optique’s mutual fund and separate account assets under management were approximately $800 million.

Eight members of the former Optique Capital team will join Manulife Asset Management to form a new equity team, based in Milwaukee. The team will be led by Wendell Perkins, senior managing director and senior portfolio manager, and Margaret (Peggy) McKay and Edward Marraccini, both managing directors and portfolio managers. They will report to Christopher Conkey, chief investment officer of global equities, Manulife Asset Management.

"We welcome this outstanding group of seasoned investment professionals to our firm," Conkey said. "The team will bring their disciplined, consistent, value equity philosophy and decision-making process to managing international value strategies for John Hancock Funds, through our John Hancock Asset Management division, as well as for Manulife Asset Management’s institutional clients.”

Optique was formed in 2007 when Perkins led the buyout of Johnson Asset Management from the Johnson Financial Group.

Johnson Financial Group finalizes sale of Swiss subsidiary

Racine-based Johnson Financial Group has closed on the sale of its Swiss subsidiary, Banque Franck Galland, to BCV Group headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This sale is part of our ongoing plan to refocus on our core U.S. businesses and further strengthens our capital position,” said Russ Weyers, president and chief executive officer for Johnson Financial Group. “I am pleased to say that all of the Banque Franck Galland associates will remain with the BCV Group.”

Johnson Financial Group is a financial services company offering financial solutions in the areas of banking, trust, insurance, investments, wealth management, mortgage and leasing.  The $5 billion company has operating companies in Wisconsin and Arizona.

 Principal owners of Johnson Financial Group are members of the Samuel C. Johnson family.  Helen Johnson-Leipold is chairman of Johnson Financial Group.

RCB Awards acquires Brookfield Awards

Milwaukee-based RCB Awards, a custom awards, trophy and recognition program provider, has acquired Brookfield Awards.

The announcement follows the retirement of the most recent Brookfield Awards proprietor. Greg Tiegs. RCB will retain all Brookfield Awards employees and plans to convert warehouse space at its 6,500 square foot Capitol Drive facility to accommodate for increased production.

RCB Awards works with companies and individuals to create programs and products that recognize achievement. The purchase of Brookfield Awards will add an additional 30 percent to RCB’s existing customer base, which includes business and retail clients such as M&I Bank, Aurora Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Badger Meter Inc.

“Contrary to industry trends, our awards business has continued to meet our growth projections during this time of economic decline,” said Curt Denevan manager of sales for RCB Awards. “The wonderful customer base that Brookfield Awards built during the past 40 years is a perfect fit for RCB Awards. We look forward to another great year in 2011.”


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