FE fundinfo, a global fund data and technology leader, has acquired Zenith Group (including Zenith Investment Partners and Chant West), a highly regarded research, ratings, managed accounts and adviser technology provider in the APAC region.

The deal brings together two of the leading fund data and research providers in Europe and the APAC region with a complementary set of asset manager and adviser-focused services. As a leading independent fund data provider to European asset managers and distributors, with offices in key fund centres such as London, Luxembourg and Zurich, FE fundinfo's aim is to connect the investment industry. This is achieved by bringing greater transparencies and efficiencies to the sector through the provision of high-quality data, investment research and fund ratings.

Hamish Purdey, chief executive at FE fundinfo, said "As factors such as increasing regulation, the growth in ESG investing and the development of new technology all continue to revolutionise the global funds industry, there is a greater need than ever for advisers and asset managers to have access to the very best data, ratings and research to allow their clients to make the most of the opportunities in this new landscape.

"Zenith Group holds an enviable reputation in Australia; not only for the quality of both their research and consulting services, but also for their impressive technology and data capabilities. Combined with our own leading expertise, data, technology and ratings services, we will be able to further support and meet the needs of the global investment industry and deliver new and even more innovative solutions for our clients."

A well-established and respected investment partner for financial advisers in Australia, Zenith was founded 20 years ago and, in that time, has grown to support financial advisers with research ratings on over 1000 investment and superannuation funds and more than 150 investment portfolio solutions. As one of the first multi-asset managed account providers in Australia, Zenith now manages in excess of AUS $3 billion in assets for advisers, on behalf of their clients.

David Wright, chief executive officer at Zenith Group, said "The acquisition presents a really exciting opportunity for the broader Zenith Group and I am looking forward to working with FE fundinfo to expand our research, data and technology solutions offering to Australian clients, while also giving us the opportunity to explore a global reach. Management are in agreement that there's excellent alignment of values and purpose across the two organisations, and a belief that together, we can create a really compelling, premium service for advisers, fund managers, super funds and institutional clients."

Zenith Group was acquired from Five V Capital and Zenith management. Five V Capital's Angus Whitehead said "Zenith is a fantastic business led by an exceptional team which continues to deliver leading investment research, consulting and product insights. Since the commencement of our partnership, Zenith has achieved transformational growth and we have been proud to support David Wright and his team on this journey. Now, with FE fundinfo's global reach and growth agenda, we believe the business is well positioned to continue to build on this platform and enhance its service offerings for clients in the years ahead."

With an office in Sydney since 2014, FE fundinfo continues to build its position in the APAC region as one of the market leaders in connecting the fund industry, having also acquired investor publication Money Management and its sister publication, Super Review, in 2017. Globally, FE fundinfo has a headcount of 838 and operations in Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, India, Hong Kong and Singapore. Worldwide, it works with almost 1,000 leading asset managers, fund managers and fund distributors including 60 of the top 100, and close to 4,000 financial advisers.

The announcement is the latest development in FE fundinfo's growth strategy, a key element of which is supported by M&A activity. The acquisition follows deals with ESG specialists CSSP at the end of 2020 and in 2021, cashflow planning provider CashCalc and fund data technology company FundConnect.

Advising on the deal for Zenith Group were Highbury Partnership (financial) and Clifford Chance (legal), while for FE fundinfo, Deloitte and Allens provided financial and tax, and legal due diligence advice respectively.

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