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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Is SSgA Actively Seeking Acquisitions?

News summary by MFWire's editors

There's a new potential buyer prowling for active asset managers. Scott Powers, CEO of State Street Global Advisors, told Bloomberg's Christopher Condon that SSgA might buy active managers. For now Powers is focused on institutional managers, but he said he could bring along retail mutual funds in such a deal, too.

"Would those be interesting for us? Sure," Powers reportedly said. "Am I telling you that we'll go out and execute transaction in the next six months? That's not what I'm saying at all."

In Condon's words, Powers sees now as "a good time to be looking for acquisitions," and he's really interested in the active side of asset management in particular. According to Bloomberg, 68 percent of SSgA's assets are passively managed. (It shut its $430 million fundamental active equities business during the heart of the crash in October 2008 and it sold a high net worth asset management arm in 2003.)

"We're huge in passive and we love that business, but it's still only 20 percent of the market," Powers told Bloomberg. "We would really benefit from having more distribution power in the areas that aren't in our sweet spot ... What we're missing, even at a relatively slower growth rate, is the ability to gather assets and provide clients with solutions in investment strategies that aren't passive." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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