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March 31, 2021

XP in talk to buy stake in Azimut’s asset management unit in Brazil

By Verdict Staff

Brazilian investment management company XP is reportedly is in talks with Italian asset manager Azimut over a minority stake in the latter’s Brazilian asset management unit AZ Quest.

Sao Paulo-based AZ Quest is said to manage $2.88bn (BRL16.5bn) in assets. Azimut owns an 81% controlling stake in the firm with rest of the holdings shared between its executives.

The discussion for the stake purchase between XP and Azimut is at preliminary stage, and no agreements have been reached, according Bloomberg reported cited sources familiar with the development.

The sources also revealed that the firm has approached other parties for an investment.

AZ Quest, XP and Azimut did not comment on the news.

Earlier this month, AZ Quest agreed to purchase MZK Investimentos, a hedge fund manager co-founded founded ex-HSBC trader Marco Mecchi.

Once the deal is finalised, Mecchi will take charge of AZ Quest’s macro department.

Recent stake purchases by other firms

A slew of financial firms has been swooping on independent asset managers for a piece of their holding.

This week, British fund manager Schroders acquired the remaining minority stake in wealth management firm Benchmark Capital.

Last week, reports suggested that UBS Group, alongside Franklin Templeton and BlackRock is in talks to purchase a controlling stake in Brazilian asset manager BB DTVM, which manages $217bn (BRL1.2trn) in AUM.

Earlier this month, the asset banking arm of banking giant JPMorgan agreed to take a 10% stake in the wealth management unit of China Merchants Bank.

Recent development at Azimut

Earlier this month, Azimut agreed to buy a minority stake in HighPost Capital, a private equity firm in the US partially owned by the Bezos family. It followed the company’s purchase of a 20% stake in Kennedy Lewis Investment Management.

Last year, the Italian firm picked stakes in US-based brokerage firm Sanctuary Wealth. In 2019, it agreed to purchase 100% of Egyptian peer Rasmala Egypt Asset Management from Rasmala Group.

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