By AltFi on Friday 25 April 2014
Marshall Wace, the London-based alternative asset manager has acquired a controlling stake in Eaglewood Capital Management – a New York based, SEC registered investment management firm specializing in online lending strategies. Eaglewood will be integrated with the p2p business assets - P2P Capital Solutions - acquired by Marshall Wace from Liberum in late 2013.
The goal is to produce a powerful new asset management group – MW Eaglewood Limited. With Marshall Wace acting as an incubator to the nascent business in Europe – making available its expertise in systems, IT, risk management and portfolio construction and optimization – MW Eaglewood will position itself as a world leader in managing p2p and online lending investment strategies.
Jonathan Barlow, Founder and Chief Executive of Eaglewood, will also serve as Chief Executive of MW Eaglewood and will retain a minority stake in the business. He commented on the acquisition:
“The creation of MW Eaglewood is testament to our shared belief in the potential of the online and P2P lending sector. Eaglewood’s track record and innovation, combined with Marshall Wace’s outstanding asset management expertise and the strong relationships we all have with the lending platforms, is a powerful combination.
“We are looking forward to contributing to the transformation of the sector in the US, the UK and beyond.”
Simon Champ, Chief Executive of Eaglewood Europe LLP, also weighed in:
“Our shared vision is to provide institutional funding to the P2P sector and in so doing, accelerate its growth by effectively creating a new asset class for investors: actively managed P2P exposure. The creation of MW Eaglewood is another important step forward. The next step will be the flotation of an investment trust on the London Stock Exchange, enabling us to provide permanent capital to the sector while offering an attractive yield for investors.”
As Champ alludes to, Eaglewood Europe will be the investment manager of a new entity to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. As for Eaglewood, it will proceed as it has been in New York – actively investing in loans with an attractive yield, strong credit quality and relatively short-term duration.
Ian Wace, CEO of Marshall Wace, added:
“We are delighted to contribute to the development of the P2P lending sector by bringing these businesses together to build and incubate a new, international P2P asset manager. P2P lending has the potential to transform consumer and SME lending practices worldwide by disintermediating the banks. In so doing it can benefit the whole economy and society at large.”
“Once Eaglewood Europe is fully up and running with its own regulatory approval, our plan is for it to be managed by its own team independently from Marshall Wace’s existing business.”
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