Santa Monica, Calif.-based consulting/financial services firm Wilshire is adding hedge funds to its alternative investment offering with the purchase of Lyxor Asset Management Inc.
The deal would see the $20.8 billion New York-based firm separate from its parent European asset manager Amundi and become a unit offering hedge fund managed accounts.
“The alternatives space is a key area of strategic focus for Wilshire and an important part of many investment portfolios,” said Jason Schwarz, deputy CEO and president at Wilshire. “This acquisition furthers our goal of delivering innovative alternative investment solutions to our client base and will provide Lyxor U.S. clients with Wilshire’s asset allocation and investment research insights, portfolio construction capabilities.”
Schwarz had been president of Wilshire Analytics and the firm’s asset management arm Wilshire Funds Management before being promoted to deputy CEO and president at the firm which offers a variety of services to institutional investors. Wilshire advises on over $1.3 trillion in assets and manages $88 billion in assets.
Lyxor’s managed account prowess
A key Lyxor client, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System in Sacramento, has welcomed the acquisition. Lyxor has offered managed accounts for over a decade within the $308 billion pension fund’s risk mitigating strategies portfolio, working alongside the CalSTRS investment team led by Deputy CIO Scott Chan.
“The acquisition by Wilshire will provide us with access to a broader range of alternatives expertise and capabilities, which supports our overall mission of providing California’s public educators with a secure retirement,” Chan said as he thanked Amundi for the “thoughtful and constructive engagement” its team has offered.
Lyxor U.S. was previously the U.S. subsidiary of Lyxor, a major European ETF and liquid alternatives provider acquired by Amundi in 2021. In 2022, a number of personnel changes were reported including naming former Lyxor U.S. CEO Nathanaël Benzaken as head of Amundi Alternatives.
Current Lyxor U.S. CEO Andrew Dabinett has held the role since 2018 after heading up sales and client service in North America. He said that Wilshire’s brand, experience, and core capabilities, will help the group to deliver “enduring value to our clients and win new business.”
At Amundi, officials remain committed to expanding its liquid alternatives business globally outside the U.S., but plan to grow its asset management and distribution in the Americas, including Amundi US that has operated since 1928.
According to Amundi, the transaction has no material financial impact on the firm and is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Wilshire was advised by Solomon Partners and Kirkland & Ellis, and Amundi was advised by PJT Partners and Clifford Chance.