BNY Mellon buys 20% stake in Siguler Guff

The deal allows the financial services giant's clients access to private equity funds focused on strategies like distressed investments.

BNY Mellon Asset Management has paid an undisclosed sum for a 20 percent stake in Siguler Guff, a fund of funds manager focused primarily on distressed investment, emerging markets and small buyout strategies.

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, institutional and individual investors are seeking more diversification and increased exposure to alternatives,” Ronald O’Hanley, president and chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Asset Management, said in a statement. “Current market conditions have led to extraordinary demand for distressed opportunity managers.”

Current market conditions have led to extraordinary demand for distressed opportunity managers.

Ron O'Hanley

Siguler Guff, launched in 1991 within Paine Webber, has been working closely with BNY Mellon since earlier this year. The firm engaged BNY Mellon to distribute products and services on a global scale. In May 2009, Siguler Guff Advisors, the firm’s registered investment advisor, became advisor to the private equity fund of funds previously advised by West LB Mellon Asset Management.

Earlier this year, Siguler Guff hired former Cohen & Steers chief investment officer James Corl to head up the firm’s distressed real estate investing activities. The firm had previously focused on debt and small buyouts.

George Siguler, co-founder of the firm, said at the time the firm was planning to create a real estate vehicle targeting distressed real estate opportunities “both through outside managers and direct co-investment opportunities”.

The firm has about $8 billion of assets under management. Siguler was a founding employee of the Harvard Management Company. Drew Guff, co-founder of the firm, worked with Paine Webber for 11 years before helping launch Siguler Guff. Guff was instrumental in launching Russian Partners Company, a pioneer in private equity investments in Russia.

BNY Mellon provides financial services for institutions, corporations and high net-worth individuals. BNY Mellon has $22.1 trillion of assets under custody and administration and $966 billion in assets under management.