Perpetual to acquire US ESG investment firm

31 January 2020

Perpetual Limited has announced an intention to acquire Trillium Asset Management, a Boston-based specialist environmental, social, governance (ESG) investment firm, with US$3.8 billion ($5.65 billion) in funds under management (FUM) as well as further plans to establish a US distribution arm to support Trillium’s growth and future acquisitions.

The US$36 million transaction would be funded by available cash, with the acquisition being earnings accretive in the first year, the firm said.

Perpetual would also support the growth of Trillium’s product offerings to its clients in Australia and has commenced the build-out of a US-based distribution team, with the head of the new team to be announced in the coming weeks.

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The new US distribution team would be responsible for the growth of Trillium’s specialist ESG products across the US. But at the same time, the existing Perpetual’s team announced plans to reach its key targets across the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and into Europe under the leadership of the firm’s head of global distribution, Adam Quaife.

Perpetual also said it would support Trillium and any future acquisitions through increased investment, marketing resources and its distribution capabilities.

“Our acquisition of Trillium represents a compelling global growth initiative with exciting opportunities for all stakeholders. This is an important initial for our business as we execute our strategy of adding world class investment capabilities and expanding our geographic reach”, Rob Adams, Perpetual managing director and chief executive, said.

“We are at a vital stage in the evolution of responsible investing. Investor demand, in part driven by the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history, regulatory change and greater certainty about the positive correlation between ESG and long-term financial performance are all playing a role in the rapid growth of the sector.”

Following the acquisition, the business would continue to operate under the Trillium brand, with the current management and no changes to its investment teams or investment process.

Trillium incorporates ESG factors into its investment approach since its foundation in 1982. It has a variety of ESG focused US, global and thematic equity and US fixed income offerings, including fossil fuel free strategies operating in excess of 20 years, the firm said.

The Trillium P21 Global Equity Fund (I) PORIX and Trillium P21 Global Equity Fund (R) PORTX have returned 5.94% and 6.29%, respectively, since inception. Trillium Small/Mid Cap Fund TSMDX, which was set up in August 2015, returned 8.40% since then. 

Perpetual said that the transaction was consistent with its strategic intention to grow via additional investment capabilities across asset classes, investment strategies, geographies and client groups.


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