Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) is to buy Merian Global Investors to “reinforce [its] core UK franchise and extend capabilities into attractive product gaps”, as well as reduce costs. Jupiter will pay an upfront sum of £370m and may pay some of Merian's shareholders, in aggregate, a further £20m if certain targets are met.
These two asset managers run a number of high-profile funds, but face a number of challenges. Jupiter's most popular funds include Jupiter European (GB00B5STJW84), which has assets under management of about £4.9bn. But its long-standing and highly regarded manager, Alexander Darwall, left last year to set up his own business, Devon Equity Management, and the board of the investment trust he ran decided to follow him there. Jupiter reported net mutual fund outflows of £1bn in the third quarter of 2019 after a net £1.1bn was taken out of its European growth funds.
Merian Global Equity Absolute Return (IE00BLP5S809), meanwhile, has experienced huge outflows over the past year following poor performance.