Employees take 20% stake while Allspring Global Investments becomes independent


Allspring Global Investments has officially commenced operations as an independent asset management company.

The move marks the completion of GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners’ acquisition of Wells Fargo Asset Management.

The company’s new name, Allspring Global Investments, takes effect today. The wealth manager, which has more than $587 billion in assets under management, will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Joseph Sullivan (pictured) assumed the CEO role in addition to his role as Executive Chairman in July this year following Nico Marais’ decision to retire.

In addition to majority ownership by GTCR and Reverence Capital, Allspring’s management, portfolio managers and employees now own over 20% of the company’s equity.

Speak with Citywire selectorSullivan said when people know they have a significant stake in the company, it really changes their mindset.

“This provides the next generation of leaders with an opportunity to invest in the company and focus them on long-term value creation,” he added.

In the meantime, Wells Fargo & Co. will own a 9.9% stake and continue to serve as Allspring’s key customer and distributor. Sullivan said the asset manager plans to work even more closely with Wells Fargo than in the past.

“The reason we’re only an arm’s length away from them now. A lot of people seem to think that if you market internally, the home team has an advantage, but that’s not really the case. What we have heard from our partners at Wells Fargo Investment Management is that they expect to do more business with us in the future.’

Focus on solutions

Although Sullivan and his team plan to invest more in technology and distribution, they won’t shake up the investment teams.

“We will only do what we can to support and assist them in terms of resources, whether that be technology or any other resources they may need. But we won’t stand in the way of that. The independence of our investment teams and their processes is unassailable. People shouldn’t expect big changes, but I think those changes will evolve over time.”

Sullivan said it’s likely the company will also focus more on custom strategies. “The term ‘solutions’ is a bit of a buzz word in the industry. But we want to give meaning to this word, it’s not about what we want to deliver, it’s about what our customers need. What is the result? How do we get there?

“Bespoke portfolios can be built around themes such as ESG, carbon neutral investing or even tax conscious investing. Both private and institutional customers are increasingly asking for that.’

Deirdre Flood, head of the international customer group, said Allspring already offers tailored offers for specific customers, some of whom are driven by the hunt for returns.

‘Together with a client we designed a strategy that yielded a minimum return of 6% on a strategy that not only relied on dividends but also used an options overlay.’

The company also continues its ESG work and has launched its ESG IQ data platform. “We are now looking at what has been done on the ESG front in investment grade credit and applying it to other asset classes,” she added.

expansion plans

As the company focuses on integrating ESG into all investment decisions, it will keep an eye on the talent in this space. ‘We will need more resources and talent to bolster our already very strong investment team,’ said Sullivan.

“But internally there is no dispute as to whether that matters, we all know that. It just depends how you do it and we do it as an entire organization.”

The increased focus on ESG also reflects the company’s ambitions to expand into Europe. Sullivan’s ambitions don’t stop there, however, as Asia Pacific is another market the company is keeping an eye on at the moment.

‘We intend to expand more broadly into the Asia Pacific region. We have a presence there but that is not yet reflected in our business and we need to invest and grow wisely.’

Of course, all of these ambitious plans require further investment in the team, which the majority owners of the wealth managers are willing to financially support.

“We’re going to bring in great sales professionals, I expect to add resources and people in technology to help make it a differentiator for us and on the investment side,” Sullivan said.

“Achieving investment returns and financial results is at the heart of what we do, and now increasingly with ESG in mind. That is at the core of what we do for our customers.”


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