Investment consultancy Aon is selling The Townsend Group to The Riverside Company after a six-year ownership stint.

Investment firm Riverside said a group of institutions including Bluerock, MLC Private Equity and Ten Capital Management are co-investing in the transaction to buy the global real assets investment advisory services firm, without disclosing any financial information.

Townsend advises insurers, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and foundations clients with real assets of over $125bn (€117bn) and had assets under management of $23bn as of 30 June 2023. 

Aon, which agreed to acquire Townsend in September 2017 for $475m, said the divestment “represents a successful outcome for all stakeholders as part of Aon’s portfolio management strategy”.

Aon said following the close of the transaction, it will maintain a team dedicated to serving its clients’ real estate investment programmes, while collaborating with specialists like Townsend to support specific client needs.

Eric Andersen, president of Aon, said: “We remain committed to helping employers, fiduciaries and investment officers across a broad spectrum of client need from investment consulting to delegated solutions, while we focus on further serving our clients through our leading risk capital and human capital capabilities.”

Sean Ozbolt, a managing partner at Riverside, said: “We are excited to back the outstanding Townsend team and support the next phase of growth for the company. Townsend is a market leader with a long and impressive performance history and a strong reputation in real asset advisory and investment management solutions.”

Alternative asset manager Bluerock has agreed to also partners with Townsend to expand Townsend’s institutional investment capabilities to high-net-worth investors.

Ramin Kamfar, Bluerock’s CEO, said: “Townsend’s leadership in the institutional real assets space is a natural fit with Bluerock’s pioneering role in delivering institutional-quality alternative investments to individual investors over the last 22 years.

“We look forward to partnering with Townsend to develop innovative new investment solutions to serve the growing needs of retail investors.”

Anthony Frammartino, president of Townsend who will be named chairman and CEO of the firm upon the closing of the transaction, said: “Townsend has always been an innovator and we have grown our business through thoughtful collaboration with our clients and an integrated team approach, with a senior team averaging 20 years of working together.

“This new partnership ensures continuity and exciting growth opportunities for our clients and further development opportunities for our colleagues.”

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