Montagu portfolio company Universal Investment acquires European Fund Administration
Luxembourg — Universal Investment Group and the shareholders of European Fund Administration (EFA) — Banque de Luxembourg, Banque et Caisse d’Épargne de l’État, Oddo BHF and Quintet Private Bank (Europe) S.A. — have agreed on the acquisition of EFA by Universal Investment Group. The transaction is still subject to approval by the Luxembourg financial regulator CSSF and is expected to close in the second half of 2022.
Founded in 1996, EFA is one of the leading providers of fund administration, private asset services, and front, middle and back office solutions, with offices in Luxembourg and France and nearly €167 billion in assets under administration as of the end of 2021. Clients include banks, asset managers, insurance companies, asset managers, family offices and institutional investors.
The Universal Investment Group is one of the largest fund service platforms in Europe with around 750 billion euros in assets under administration, approximately 2,000 retail and institutional fund mandates and more than 1,000 employees at locations in Frankfurt am Main, Luxembourg, Dublin, London, Hamburg and Krakow. In recent years, Universal Investment has joined the ranks of the few major international players in this market. In addition to the DACH region, Universal Investment is successfully driving internationalization through Luxembourg and Irish fund hubs, especially for international asset managers.
The combination of the two companies strengthens their joint presence in the European markets with combined assets under administration of more than 900 billion euros in over 7,000 funds and structures.
Fernand Reiners, Chairman of the EFA Board of Directors, comments: “EFA and Universal Investment share a similar history, comparable business models and objectives. Both were originally founded by banks to pool fund administration expertise. The fact that clients can focus on their core business thanks to the specialists was and is the driver for the strong growth of both companies. We are convinced that this success story will continue by entrusting EFA to the Universal Investment Group. As strategic clients, the existing shareholders are committed to contributing to the long-term success of EFA as part of the Universal Investment Group.”
Michael Reinhard (Photo, © UI), CEO of the Universal Investment Group, adds: “EFA is a perfect fit for Universal Investment and our growth story. The merger with EFA is not only another milestone towards our goal of becoming the leading European investor services platform and SuperManCo, but also for our ambition to offer our clients the full spectrum of investor services”. EFA will act as the Group’s international investor services platform based in Luxembourg and France, complementing the Frankfurt administration platform for the DACH region. “Our customers will benefit from additional solutions in the area of alternative investments and private assets. The combination of our successful business models will further accelerate both the growth and the internationalization of our joint company. Together, we intend to significantly expand our customer base in Scandinavia, France and the Benelux countries, among others. We are therefore very pleased to welcome EFA’s employees and clients to the Universal Investment Group.”
Both companies have specialized business models in asset servicing and share the idea of an open and modular platform for the financial services industry. Customers will benefit from the merger in the form of a specialized financial services company with a clear business model, new product developments, particularly in the area of private and alternative investments, and innovative strength, for example in the area of digital assets. Together, the two companies aim to significantly expand their customer base in Scandinavia, France and the Benelux countries, among others.
About the European Fund Administration
EFA will remain an independent business unit as part of the Universal Investment Group and under the Universal Investment brand. The company complements Universal Investment’s business model and together they will expand the portfolio of services for international clients in the future. Universal Investment Luxembourg will continue to operate the successful international third-party ManCo and AIFM business for the Group independently of EFA.
With offices in Luxembourg and France, EFA, founded in 1996, is one of the leading providers of fund administration, private asset services and front, middle and back office solutions. Clients include banks, asset managers, insurance companies, asset managers, family offices and institutional investors. More at www.efa.eu.
About Universal Investment Group
Universal Investment Group is one of the leading European fund service platforms and Super ManCos. Founded in 1968, the company is an independent platform offering fund initiators and institutional investors structuring and administration solutions as well as risk management for securities, real estate and alternative investments. The companies UI Labs, UI Enlyte and CAPinside round off the Group’s innovative service offering.