(Reuters) — Generali agreed to buy Hartford, Connecticut-based asset manager Conning Holdings as part of a partnership with Cathay Life, a unit of Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holding, the Italian insurer said on Thursday.
The deal, structured as an exchange of assets without cash consideration, realizes Generalis CEO Philippe Donnet’s ambition to expand into the asset management sector in the United States.
Under its current three-year plan, Generali had sought acquisition targets in insurance and asset management, earmarked up to €3 billion ($3.25 billion) for M&A transactions and hinted at possible deals in Europe, Asia and the US
The insurer studied several potential US acquisition targets in recent months before deciding to buy Conning.
Cathay Life will become a minority shareholder in Generali Investments Holding, with a stake of about 16.75%, Generali said.
Generali and Cathay Life will enter into an asset management agreement of at least 10 years.
Conning, which will retain its current management team led by CEO Woody Bradford, has approximately $157 billion in assets under management, serving insurance and institutional clients in the US and Asia.
The acquisition of Conning and its subsidiaries increases Generali’s total assets under management to €775 billion, up from €620 billion at the end of March.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to customary regulatory approvals.