Guggenheim's Deal Talks With Munich Re Have Collapsed

(Bloomberg) -- Guggenheim Partners’ talks to sell a stake in its asset-management division to Munich Re have ended without a deal, according to people briefed on the matter.

The discussions had also involved a mandate for Guggenheim to oversee about $30 billion in assets for the German insurer, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. Munich Re has held talks with other asset managers about overseeing the funds that Guggenheim would have managed in the deal, the people said.

Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, the $208 billion asset-management unit overseen by Scott Minerd, has explored selling a stake and held talks with global insurers, sovereign wealth funds and investment pools in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Bloomberg News reported in June. Minerd is seeking to strengthen his division by diversifying the investment base, which is more than 90 percent from U.S. investors.

Spokesmen for Munich Re and Guggenheim declined to comment.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been reviewing multiple areas of Guggenheim’s business, including its dealings with companies tied to an Argentine man and whether asset-management executives improperly steered funds into an investment firm. The SEC hasn’t accused Guggenheim of any wrongdoing.

There remains a chance for the talks to be revived at a later date, one person with knowledge of the matter said. Munich Re has been undergoing management changes, with the chief financial officer stepping down this year after serving on the management board for more than 18 years.

U.S. money managers broadly have been looking to international partners to gain access to new markets and compete with low-fee giants like BlackRock Inc. American managers also have become attractive targets for insurers and financial firms in Europe and Asia because of the performance of U.S. markets.

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