Pengana Capital has announced its intention to acquire a "significant stake" in a Chicago-based asset management firm.
Lizard Investors, which specialises in global small to mid-cap equities, entered into a joint venture with Pengana in 2015 to sub-advise the Pengana Global Small Companies Fund.
The proposed acquisition extends a two-decade long partnership between the two parties.
Pengana said the acquisition presents an opportunity for it to take an ownership stake in a "synergistic premium funds management business" which has growth opportunities and a sophisticated investor base.
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Pengana founder Russel Pillemer said: "This is a great opportunity for Pengana to expand into the US market not only via the growth of Lizard's global small cap capabilities but also by utilising Lizard as a platform to launch additional offerings, similar to what Pengana has done in the Australian market."
Pillemer said expanding the business into the US and working with Lizard founder Leah Zell is a major advantage and said they are ideal partners.
"Our growth plans are based on the organisational and cultural alignment between Pengana and Lizard, the strength and experience of the Lizard team, and the increasing investor demand for global small caps," Pillemer said.
Zell said the investment provides Lizard with additional resources and management capabilities which will support growth in the business in coming years.
"I look forward to working with the Pengana team on building out the firm and ensuring long-term sustainability. Global Small Caps is a highly sought after asset class, with very few fund managers having substantial experience and long-term track records," Zell said.
"In the current late stage of the economic cycle that has been extraordinary growth from large cap stocks, investors are now looking to make structural changed to their portfolios, and global small caps should be a great beneficiary of this."
Pengana said it will inject working capital into Lizard in order to grow and diversify the business as well as provide support services.
The acquisition is expected to be complete by 1 January 2020 and is not expected to have a material impact on Pengana financially or operationally.