International asset management platform iM Square has announced its first strategic partnership by taking a minority stake in US boutique Polen Capital.
iM Square was launched in September 2014 by former Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management chairman Philippe Couvrecelle and associate Jean Maunoury, who was formerly head of strategy at the group.
The platform, which is designed to aid asset managers wishing to boost their international presence, was strengthened in June 2015 when Amundi, investment group Eurazeo and investor club La Maison became founding shareholders.
In this latest development, iM Square has taken a 20% stake in Florida-based Polen, which has $7.5 billion in assets under management. It is a non-voting equity investment and, as part of the deal, Polen’s employees have increased their ownership from 51% to 60% of the firm.
It marks the first completed transaction for the London-based iM Square operation, which expects to invest €250 million in the next two to four years through five to 10 investments, which will primarily be in the US market.
Speaking to Citywire Selector, Couvrecelle said: ‘We decided one year ago that we wanted to find an entrepreneurial asset manager in the US investment universe with very similar thinking to us.’
‘We looked at those which had performed well in 2014 and the companies which were able to do well in difficult markets, as well as those we thought would fit with our long-term project.’
Commenting on how iM Square will work with Polen, Couvrecelle said the aim is to help broaden Polen Capital’s appeal to investors outside of the US but not to directly involve the platform in the day-to-day management of the company.
‘As a minority shareholder, we don’t want to control the company but work with someone showing similar ambition. The aim is to actively work with the company to build up its exposure in Europe and Asia in the future. We will showcase Polen in the European market. This is part of our 2016 ambition to have between one and three new partners in 2016.’