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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

What Putnam's Parent Is Hunting For

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

If Putnam [profile] makes an acquisition, expect it to be "more of a pure play asset management acquisition," according to Paul Mahon, president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco (the Canadian parent of Putnam's U.S. parent, Great-West Financial).

Paul Anthony Mahon
Great-West Lifeco
President, CEO
Mahon shared that tidbit and more with analysts Thursday afternoon on Great-West Lifeco's Q1 2019 earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

In response to a question from Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst with National Bank, Mahon offered more insight into what he'd look for when acquiring for Putnam.
You'd love to get scale. You'd like to get that complementary capability. You'd like to have the right culture ... If there was things that could be added to that, it would tend to be net capability or it might be a bit of reach in the distribution if you access some direct customer relationships. That would always be complementary.

As of March 31, 2019, Putnam had $170.58 billion in AUM, up from $169.468 billion at the end of Q1 2018 and up from $160.2 billion at the end of Q4 2018, according to Great-West Lifeco's Q1 2019 earnings report. Putnam suffered a net loss of $3 million in Q1 2019, down from $22 million in Q4 2018 and $13 million in Q1 2018. The mutual fund firm's operating expects fell 10 percent year-over-year to $167 million in Q1 2019. (On the Great-West Lifeco earnings call, Putnam CEO Bob Reynolds addressed the cuts.) 

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