In response to increasing interest from institutional and retail investors for international investment opportunities, BMO Financial Group today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase Pyrford International plc, a London, UK-based institutional asset manager. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Pyrford has been providing international asset management services for pension funds, charities, endowments, foundations and high net worth individuals since 1987. It had approximately US$3 billion (CDN$3 billion) assets under management (AUM) as at September 30, 2007 and client relationships in Canada, the United States, UK, Europe and the Middle East. North American clients currently account for more than 65 per cent of Pyrford's AUM.
“Today's announcement marks an important move for BMO into the international money management space as we continue to expand our internal investment management capabilities outside of North America,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “The acquisition of Pyrford will provide us with investment expertise in a number of regions that complement our current wealth management presence in Canada, the U.S. and in China with our stake in Fullgoal Fund Management.”
“BMO has an established reputation for managing money in Canada and the U.S. and we're pleased to have Pyrford join the group of companies that make up BMO Asset Management to add an important international scope to our investment management talent,” said Harold Hillier, Head of BMO Asset Management.
“Pyrford and BMO share a commitment to exceptional client service and a reputation for delivering strong performance. By leveraging BMO's extensive experience in investment management, product manufacturing and distribution, we are confident we will continue to grow our business,” said Bruce Campbell, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Pyrford International.
Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in December, 2007. It is intended that Pyrford International will retain its name and will be part of BMO Asset Management when the acquisition is approved. The transaction will not have a material impact on BMO Financial Group's earnings per share.
About Pyrford International
Pyrford International has been operating from its base in London since 1987. The company focuses on fundamental long-term analysis of markets and stocks and delivers products ranging from International Equity to Absolute Return, Shariah Compliant and various Regional mandates. Pyrford's niche has been its concentration on value and low absolute volatility together with a very personal level of client service. Pyrford's three senior investment professionals have worked together for over 18 years.
About BMO Asset Management
BMO Asset Management offers a range of investment management products and services to clients in North America through the following investment managers, which are wholly owned by BMO Financial Group: Guardian Group of Funds, a Canadian mutual fund company; Jones Heward Investment Counsel Inc., a Canadian institutional money manager; Harris Investment Management, a U.S.-based institutional asset manager and HIM Monegy, its high yield manager subsidiary. Pyrford International will be part of BMO Asset Management when the acquisition is approved.
BMO Asset Management is part of BMO Financial Group's Private Client Group. The Private Client Group provides integrated wealth management services in Canada and the United States and had total assets under management and administration and term investments of $277 billion as at July 31, 2007, of which $98 billion are assets under management.
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