Baring Asset Management snaps up Korean asset firm

Michael Bow
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LONDON-based asset manager Baring Asset Management is set to buy SEI Asset Korea (SEIAK) in a deal that will boost the 250 year-old firm’s assets under management by $6.3bn (£4bn).

The firm, which this year celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 1762, said the acquisition will boost its presence in Asia as South Korea grows to become one of the region’s top asset management markets.

Chief executive David Brennan said: “The acquisition of SEIAK underscores our commitment to Asia and belief in its strong long term growth potential.”

SEIAK is the nineteenth largest asset manager in Korea.

SEIAK chief executive Thae Surn Khwarg said: “We are proud to be joining a firm with such a strong reputation and long history as Barings. We share a belief in delivering long-term investment returns.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.



BARING Asset Management has snapped up Korean fund manager SEI Asset Korea with the help of investment banking giant UBS.

UBS had a team of around ten people working on the deal out of its New York office, led by Bradford Hearsh, managing director and banker in UBS Investment Bank’s financial institutions group.

Hearsh has a long relationship with Barings - the firm was bought by US company MassMutual Financial Group in 2005 and Hearsh helped advise on the initial acquisition.

He started his career as an associate with Paine Webber 27 years ago before joining UBS in 2000 when UBS bought the company.

The client relationship team for this deal was based in UBS’s New York office. There was also collaboration with UBS advisers on the ground in Korea and the UK.

Goldman Sachs advised SEI Asset Korea.

Heading up the division for Goldman Sachs out of its Korean office were John Kim, co-head of Goldman’s Korea business and head of Goldman’s investment banking division in Korea, and David Chung, head of firm’s financial institutions group in Korea and also managing director.