Aberdeen Looks To Snap Up Discounted Alts. Firms

Nov 14 2008 | 12:50pm ET

One U.K.-based asset manager Aberdeen Asset Management is on the prowl for funds of hedge funds and funds of private equity funds selling at deep discounts, according to its CEO.

Martin Gilbert said that opportunities are "now pretty strong" due to the global financial crisis, and that Aberdeen could look at making small acquisitions, Reuters reports.

“Funds of hedge funds and funds of private equity are a lot cheaper than they were six months ago, and they are significantly cheaper than they were two years ago,” said Gilbert. “Funds of hedge funds, FOHFs, for example, were selling for 15% of assets under management two years ago. They are now down to very, very manageable levels, very attractive levels, and a lot of them are subscale, so I think there is an opportunity to consolidate in that area.”

Aberdeen currently manages some US$198.1 billion in mostly long-only assets and is looking to beef up its alternative investments business following demand from its institutional clients.

Gilbert said he expected more consolidation in the broader funds industry over the next year if market volatility continued.

“There is an amazing number of people talking to each other in the funds business. We certainly feel that we are among the acquirers rather than a business going to be acquired during the market downturn,” he said.


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