Bank of America Merrill Lynch finds buyer for $6.5bn fund platform

Bank of America
Generali snaps up Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Ucits platform (Source: Getty)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has found a buyer for its $6.5bn (£4.89bn) MLIS Ucits platform.

Generali Investments has purchased the platform, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The MLIS (Merrill Lynch Investment Solutions) platform was set up by the firm to offer "innovative and added value" strategies for investors, in order to help them meet their investment and risk management goals via Ucits compliant funds.

Ucits (Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) is a regulatory framework brought in nearly 30 years ago by the European Commission. The idea of a Ucits fund is to offer investors across Europe hedge-fund type products, without the risk commonly associated with hedge-fund investments.

Ucits can be registered in Europe and sold worldwide, Ucits fund providers who meet the standard are exempt from national regulation in individual European countries.

The acquisition by Generali comes as rumours had began to circulate that French private equity firm BlackFin Capital Partners had been interested in purchasing the offering earlier this year.

Last year the platform itself grew around 12 per cent, offered 14 Ucits hedge funds and had boosted assets by around 19 per cent, despite not launching any new products on the platform.

The platform itself has some major offerings, including the $3.5bn Marshall Wace fund and a $1.8bn AQR fund.

The Ucits platform space has been hit by consolidation this year, as Morgan Stanley’s $3.4bn FundLogic platform for third-party managers was also closed.

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