GQG CEO on difficulties of asset manager M&A activity

GQG Partners M&A Pacific Current Group

19 February 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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GQG Partners believes the firm is in a “very dominant position” in Australia, but says acquisitions are not an objective following the ceasing of a deal with Pacific Current Group last year.

In its full-year results for 2023, the US asset manager said funds under management were US$120.6 billion at the end of December, up by 37 per cent, and it had seen net flows of US$10 billion.

Breaking it down by those in Australia, it had some US$1 billion of flows and accounted for US$7.6 billion of funds under management.

Its Global Equity Fund, in particular, saw 59 per cent of total inflows over the last three years come from Australian investors.

Steve Ford, managing director of global distribution, said: “We are a US manager coming to Australia, we have endeavored to be highly committed to our investor relation efforts, we have eight in our wholesale team alone.

“We are the number one asset raiser on a three-year basis in global equities, given the investment we have made on the group, performance we have had, the distribution platforms we find ourselves on, we are in a very dominant position to capture flows in Australia. 

“We are confident we will continue to be a league table leader.”

Last year, the firm made an acquisition bid for Pacific Current Group, but the deal ceased a few months later after failing to achieve the support of the firm’s largest shareholder. 

Reflecting on whether GQG would pursue other opportunities this year, Tim Carver, chief executive, said M&A activity was not an objective.

“We did pursue an acquisition of Pacific Current Group, ultimately this didn’t come to fruition, and we did that from a very strategic standpoint as we would like to expand into the alternatives space. 

“We are always open-minded on finding ways to grow the business to bring our clients’ innovative investment strategies, but we don’t have an objective to grow through acquisitions. 

"I’m fairly sceptical of M&A activity in this industry as it is very, very hard to pull off.

“We are more likely to lift out a team or take a minority stake in a team where we can leverage our infrastructure than to do M&A, but we also want to make sure we are not missing opportunities.”

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