MassMutual’s institutional asset management affiliates Babson, Barings, Cornerstone, and Wood Creek announce plans to combine; unified firm will operate under the Barings brand with offices in 20 countries
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 9, 2016 – Babson Capital Management LLC, its subsidiaries Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC and Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC, and Baring Asset Management Limited, announced today their intention to combine and use the Barings brand. The combination creates a leading global, multi-asset investment management firm with over $260 billion of assets under management, offices in 20 countries, and over 1,700 professionals. The firm will be led by Tom Finke, current Chairman and CEO of Babson, and will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
David Brennan, Chairman and CEO of Barings, who will retire as planned during the summer of 2016, commented, “This is an exciting opportunity for the Barings organization to combine with its affiliates to create a new, more diversified global manager.” Brennan added, “It has been an honor leading this impressive organization over the past 14 years, and I look forward to working with the new management team in the coming months.”
Because of the complementary nature of the firms’ investment capabilities in fixed income, equity, multi-asset, real estate, real assets, and alternatives, no change in investment leadership is anticipated. Furthermore, distribution and marketing capabilities will be combined together to support the new global firm.
“This combination is highly complementary in terms of asset classes, distribution footprint, and shared commitment to excellence,” said Tom Finke. “Together, Babson, Barings, Cornerstone, and Wood Creek offer institutional and retail investors worldwide a compelling array of investment offerings. As a unified firm we will be better able to deliver our diverse and global investment offerings to clients.”
As a result of the combination, the Barings brand and logo will be refreshed to reflect the global nature of the new Barings and signify the unified platform of the affiliates. The choice to retain the Barings brand reinforces the global aspect of the new firm, the diversified nature of its client base, and the Barings heritage which dates back to 1762.
Babson, Barings, Cornerstone, and Wood Creek are affiliates of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), a leading mutual life insurance company. Roger Crandall, the Chairman, President, and CEO of MassMutual, commented, “By bringing together these highly complementary world-class affiliates under the iconic and respected Barings brand, MassMutual enhances its already-strong offering of investment capabilities and outstanding service to an expanded universe of clients around the globe. We appreciate David’s commitment to help ensure a smooth and seamless process, as well as his outstanding leadership during his 14 years as Chairman and CEO of Barings, and welcome Tom into his new leadership role in the unified firm. I have tremendous confidence in this management team to both successfully implement this important initiative and build on the tremendous success already achieved.”
The firm expects to close the initial phase of the integration during the fourth quarter of this year, subject to required regulatory approval.