US-based investment management firm Conning has agreed to acquire a 45% stake in Global Evolution, a Denmark-based emerging and frontier markets investment manager.

Global Evolution invests globally on behalf of institutional investors through pooled funds as well as segregated accounts. The firm managed $6.6bn in assets at the end of November 2017.

Global Evolution will retain its operational independence following the deal, while the firm’s CEO Soren Rump and CIO Morten Bugge will retain their existing roles. Employees will continue to own a majority stake in Global Evolution.

Conning will increase its position in Global Evolution gradually through different investments.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up in early 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Conning chairman and CEO Woody Bradford said: “Emerging market debt is increasingly being accepted as a strategic asset class for investors globally, and given this trend we are pleased to be able to provide Global Evolution’s world-class investment expertise to our clients.”