Cornerstone to join Babson, Wood Creek under Barings brand

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Barings Asset Management is to merge with three other asset management subsidiaries to create a manager with $260bn (€234bn) in assets under management.

The merger will combine Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers with Babson Capital Management, Wood Creek Capital Management and Barings, all owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Roger Crandall, chairman, president and chief executive at MassMutual, saidthe move would allow the company to target “an expanded universe of clients around the globe”.

Barings said there were no plans to alter investment leadership, given the four companies’ complementary investment expertise covering fixed income, equity, multi-asset, real estate, real assets and alternatives.

Tom Finke, current chairman and chief executive at Babson, will be chief executive of the new firm, which brings together 1,700 professionals from offices in 20 countries.

Finke said: “Together, Babson, Barings, Cornerstone and Wood Creek offer institutional and retail investors worldwide a compelling array of investment offerings.

“As a unified firm, we will be better able to deliver our diverse and global investment offerings to clients.”

David Brennan, chairman and chief executive at Barings, who will retire this summer, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Barings organisation to combine with its affiliates to create a new, more diversified global manager.

“It has been an honour leading this impressive organisation over the past 14 years, and I look forward to working with the new management team in the coming months.”

The company expects to complete the initial phase of the merger in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

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