Chicago money manager RMB Capital grows 25% with its latest merger – Finance News

on Jun14

14 June 2017 | 6:51 pm

RMB Capital, a Chicago firm that manages money for individual and institutional investors, has absorbed several peers over the past year, and aims to keep picking more up.

The employee-owned firm this week announced its biggest expansion yet, combining with Oakbrook Terrace-base IronBridge Capital Management, which has 35 employees and about $1.7 billion in assets.

That will enlarge RMB by about 25 percent when the deal closes later this month, giving the firm $8.4 billion in assets and 185 employees. In May, RMB acquired Lake Forest-based Vennwell, which had $250 million in assets. The firm declined to provide financial details of the transaction.

More firms in the industry are merging or partnering with peers as pressure builds on active managers who are losing business to cheaper index-linked investing options. That’s weighing down fees in an industry where a generation of older principals are wrestling with whether to stay in business for this latest evolution, or exit, RMB CEO Dick Burridge said in a recent interview.

“The pressure on active managers has gone up a lot,” said Burridge, 55, who adds that he’s fielding more calls than ever from other firms looking to lock arms in some way.

The consolidation in the industry has been going on since the 1990s, but it’s gaining momentum now, Burridge said. In asset management, where advisers are managing money for institutional investors like pension funds and foundations, the consolidation is in later stages, but in the investment management field that caters to individuals, including the mainly high net worth clients that RMB serves, it’s in the earlier stages, he said.

RMB also annexed the Centennial, Colorado-based sole proprietorship Greenwood Investment Management last September, and expanded into management of mutual funds last year with the takeover of the former Burnham Funds, becoming investment adviser to $700 million in the renamed RMB Funds.

The story has been corrected to say that RMB became investment adviser last year to $700 million in the former Burnham mutual funds.



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