BNY Mellon Asset Management has acquired a 20% minority interest in Siguler Guff & Company LLC (and certain related entities), a multi-strategy private equity firm with approximately $8 billion in assets under management and committed capital.
BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation which has $22.1 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $966 billion in assets under management.
This development comes at a time when BNY Mellon is looking to expand its presence in India and other emerging markets. The firm recently appointed Standard Chartered Bank veteran Navneet Singh as head of India operations.
Siguler Guff focuses its investments across three different business lines: fund of funds (FoF), advisory activities and direct investment funds. Its focused investment offerings include FoFs targeting distressed security investing, investing in emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), and investing in small cap buyout opportunities. The firm has an India office in Mumbai headed by Praneet Singh, who was earlier with Piramal Healthcare and McKinsey & Co.
Sigular invests in Indian private equity funds from BRIC Opportunities Fund, which raised $610 million in 2006. The second BRIC Opportunities Fund, which is mainly focused on India and China, is also near its final close of $1 billion, as per reports earlier this year. Some PE firms in which Siguler has invested in include SME-focused fund Avigo Capital and NewPath Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on hybrid Indo-US companies. It has also directly made PE investments in Indian firms, which includes a 4% stake in Catholic Syrian Bank.
George Siguler, one of the founding partners, was also a founding employee of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the management of Harvard University's endowment and related financial assets. Drew Guff has a long, successful history in investing in Emerging Markets Private Equity. The firm has a value-oriented opportunistic focus dedicated exclusively to private equity investing.
"In the aftermath of the financial crisis, institutional and individual investors are seeking more diversification and increased exposure to alternatives. Moreover, the stress in large cap buyout investing has led investors to rethink and reallocate private equity investments," said Ronald P.O 'Hanley, president and chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Asset Management.
"Current market conditions have led to extraordinary demand for distressed opportunity managers, and Siguler Guff is particularly well positioned to take advantage of distressed situations and the emerging markets, which are among the most promising areas for private equity investors."
The two companies formed a strategic alliance in January 2009, when Siguler Guff engaged BNY Mellon to distribute the products and services of Siguler Guff globally. In May 2009, Siguler Guff Advisers, LLC, Siguler Guff's registered investment advisor subsidiary, became the investment advisor of the private equity fund of funds previously advised by West LB Mellon Asset Management.
"This transaction formalises our ties with Siguler Guff and significantly adds to our 'alpha' capabilities," added O'Hanley. "Siguler Guff's deep private equity and distressed evaluation and selection expertise are very important to BNY Mellon's clients."
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