MassMutual and Trian Deepen Their Ties With a $1.2T-AUM Titan
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Friday, November 06, 2020

MassMutual and Trian Deepen Their Ties With a $1.2T-AUM Titan

The high-profile activist investor who backed Legg Mason and the insurer that sold OppenheimerFunds have both officially deepened their ties with a publicly traded, multinational, $1.218-trillion-AUM$1.218-trillion-AUM asset manager.

Nelson Peltz
Trian Fund Management
CEO, Founding Partner
Yesterday, Rick Wagoner, chair of Invesco's [profile] board of directors, and Mary Flanagan, president and CEO, confirmed the immediate expansion of the Atlanta-based firm's board with the addition of three new board members: Tom Finke, chairman and CEO of Barings; Ed Garden, chief investment officer and founding partner of Trian Fund Management; and Nelson Peltz, CEO and founding partner of Trian. With those three additions, Invesco's board now includes 11 members.

All three additions tied to big Invesco shareholders. Trian, as revealed a month ago, has recently taken a 9.9-percent stake in Invesco. And Invesco's purchase of OpFunds last year left OpFunds' prior owner, MassMutual, as Invesco's biggest shareholder, with a 15.7-percent stake ... and Barings is a subsidiary of MassMutual. The board expansion means that MassMutual and Trian have ties to at least two Invesco board members each. (In addition to the three fresh additions, one of Invesco's existing board members is Bill Glavin, former chair of OpFunds and former COO of MassMutual.)

Wagner commented on both connections.

"We are pleased to have Trian as a significant shareholder. Nelson and Ed have an impressive track record as long-term investors, and their prior experience in asset management gives them a deep understanding of the significant growth opportunities of this industry," Wagoner states. "We also look forward to working with Tom Finke, whose deep financial services leadership experience with Barings will provide an invaluable perspective. Tom's connection to MassMutual will further strengthen our relationship with our largest shareholder. MassMutual is a committed, long-term partner to our business."

The board update also comes amid public rumors that Peltz, through Trian, envisions scaling Invesco up further with more acquisitions, with another Trian-backed asset manager, Janus Henderson, being a possible target. Yet yesterday Flanagan (who also sits on Invesco's board) pushed back on those rumors, telling Barron's that he hasn't had talks with the Janus Henderson folks.

Don Putnam, managing partner of Grail Partners (an asset management industry dealmaker), expressed skepticism about the efficacy of a possible Invesco-Janus Henderson merger.

"I think the Trian move reflects the age of the big guy — it's a strategy rooted in last century thinking," Putnam told MFWire last month. "It can't work for shareholders because both companies are struggling with their own demons, and a merger would increase the challenges."

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