Virtus Investment Partners, a Connecticut-based asset manager, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in local rival Sustainable Growth Advisers (SGA) for an undisclosed sum.

Stamford-based SGA focuses on US, global and international growth equity strategies. As at 31 December 2017, the firm managed $11.6bn in assets.

Virtus will buy the stake from private equity firm Estancia Capital Management, and SGA partners that include its three co-founders.

The remaining stake will be held by key investment professionals, who will sign long-term employment agreements and reinvest part of the sales proceeds to drive the firm’s investment strategies.

The deal, anticipated to be wrapped up in mid-2018, will diversify Virtus’s client base mainly among institutional investors and international clients as well as bolster its investment offerings.

On the other hand, SGA will gain access to Virtus’ distribution network through the deal. However, SGA will retain its investment process, independent structure and brand.

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Virtus president and CEO George Aylward said: “George Fraise, Gordon Marchand, and Rob Rohn, the co-founders of SGA, have created an exceptional business by focusing on meeting their clients’ objectives by providing a distinctive investment approach that concentrates on investing in companies with differentiated businesses and predictable and sustainable growth.

“We are very pleased to partner with SGA and support the current and future leaders of the company as they provide continuity for their clients and continue to leverage their distinguished research and decision-making process to construct high conviction, growth-equity portfolios.”