Germany's Universal-Investment enters Irish ManCo market

Universal-Investment, Metzler, MancoGerman fund administrator Universal-Investment Group has acquired management company Metzler Ireland in a move to enter the Irish funds market, which is a beneficiary of growth in the provision of ‘ManCo’ services. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition, which is still subject to regulatory approval, sees Universal-Investment creating a third servicing hub after Germany and Luxembourg.

Universal-Investment and Metzler already have a large number of common clients for which they act as administrator and asset manager, respectively, and intend to cooperate on Irish fund launches.

Universal-Investment had already taken over the fund pricing and legal reporting for around 300 mutual and institutional funds launched by Metzler Asset Management in Germany and Ireland with a volume totalling over €56 billion.

“The acquisition of Metzler Ireland Limited is part of Universal-Investment Group’s strategy of investing not only in organic growth and digital transformation, but also in the company’s internationalisation,” said Michael Reinhard, Universal-Investment Group chief executive.

Two other recent acquisitions by Universal-Investment were IT specialist UI Labs in 2019 and online investment community CAPinside in 2020.

The firm also launched an investment platform for digital assets in the past few days, called Enlyte.

Metzler is the sister company of B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. KGaA, the oldest German private bank that has been family owned for 340 years.  It has 20 employees and around €2.8 billion under management.

The bank is pursuing a strategy develop its customer-related services, including portfolio management, pension management and sustainability investments.

Gerhard Wiesheu, Metzler’s asset management partner, said: “The sale of the Irish fund management company to a specialised fund service platform such as Universal-Investment Group is the right step, and our clients will also benefit from the high service quality offered by Universal-Investment Group.”

Universal-Investment Group has €625 billion in assets under administration.

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