Barings to merge with three boutique managers


MassMutual has merged four of its underlying boutique asset managers, including Barings Asset Management, creating a firm with $260bn in assets.

Barings will be merged with fixed interest specialist Babson Capital Management, property specialist Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers and alternatives and private equity manager Wood Creek Capital Management.The four boutique managers are all owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

The new entity will retain the Barings name and will be run by Tom Finke, the current chairman and chief executive of Babson.

As part of the plans Barings chairman and chief executive David Brennan will retire, as planned, this summer.

The investment teams at each asset manager will remain the same, while the marketing and distribution teams will be combined, says MassMutual in a statement.

Brennan says: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Barings organisation to combine with its affiliates to create a new, more diversified global manager.

“It has been an honour leading this impressive organisation over the past 14 years, and I look forward to working with the new management team in the coming months.”

Cornerstone and Wood Creek are subsidiaries under Babson Capital Management, which has $223bn in assets under management.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “This seems to be good news for Barings and the UK part of this deal.

“The four businesses that are being merged are very complementary and have very little overlap in terms of product. As the Barings name is to be retained and even used more, it looks like a very strong commitment to the brand from the parent company.”