Aviva buys US equities house

AVIVA Investors has bolted on a US equities operation through the takeover of River Road, a Kentucky-based boutique asset manager, for an undisclosed sum.

The British insurer’s funds arm said the acquisition would complement its existing fixed income presence in the US and help it win more institutional mandates in North America.

River Road has $3.6bn (£2.3bn) under management, a fraction of Aviva Investors’ $364bn. A spokesperson said River Road’s value-led investment approach would remain unchanged and confirmed there were no plans to relabel its funds with the Aviva brand.

Alain Dromer, chief executive of Aviva investors, hailed River Road’s 25-strong team as “experienced”. Dromer said its strong track record would provide a firm platform for growing Aviva’s US business.

Aviva, whose operations are focused on the UK and mainland Europe, is keen to expand into the lucrative Asian and North American markets. The company entered the US in earnest in 2006 with the £1.6bn takeover of life insurer AmerUs. It reinforced its position in the region last October by listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.