Stephens Has Deal for 20% Stake in Boutique London Firm


Little Rock-based Stephens is planning to take a minority ownership stake in the boutique financial services firm CRUX Asset Management of London, the companies announced Wednesday.

The transaction, still subject to regulatory approval, would result in Stephens holding approximately 20% of CRUX share capital. CRUX would issue new shares to support the deal.

Under the deal, Stephens Inc. Senior Vice President John Stephens would join CRUX board as a non-executive director.

CRUX, founded in 2014, is an active equity investment manager with £1.7 billion in assets under management. The firm’s three core equity teams focus on Europe, the UK and Asia.

CRUX CEO Karen Zachary said the partnership with Stephens will help the company strengthen its capital base and continue growing in the UK and Asia. CRUX has recently hired two experienced Asia equity fund managers and partnered with the financial firm Union Bancaire Privée of Geneva to advise on its equity funds in the market.

Zachary said there's "clear synergies" between CRUX and Stephens, while John Stephens praised the London firm as an "exciting team with a bright future."

"We are looking forward to working with Karen and others in helping the business achieve its goal of becoming a leading, independent asset manager and the platform of choice for high quality PMs with a passion for what they do," John Stephens said.

Stephens has had a European presence since 2014, with offices in London and Frankfurt. Along with general mergers and acquisitions, its focus in Europe has primarily been in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and transport services and infrastructure industry sectors.

The company has said it plans to to broaden its sector focus to complement Stephens' existing industry groups in the U.S.