Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG) is one of the world's largest asset managers in the world, managing $280.0 billion as of December 31, 2009. AMG is not structured like traditional asset managers such as T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) or Franklin Resources (BEN); instead of hiring and firing managers to invest its clients' money, AMG buys ownership stakes in small to mid-sized investment firms, and lets the residing managers remain autonomous. In exchange, the managers agree to a revenue sharing contract, in which a designated portion of revenue is allocated to expenses, the affiliate's management team, and AMG.
AMG's affiliates primarily offer equity investments through mutual funds, institutional investing, and asset management of high-net worth individuals. AMG business has a natural equity tilt as it borrows money to finance acquisitions of companies that manage equities. Essentially, AMG pays interest on borrowed money, but its revenue is tied to equity prices. When stock prices are rising, AMG's AUM expand, which in turn increases revenue through higher management fees collected; yet the company's interest expense stays flat. Declining stock prices results in lower revenue, but AMG still pays interest on its debt.
Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) buys stakes in small to mid-sized investment companies that have solid track records of investment performance and growth. Managers of these boutique investment companies desire to "cash out" equity stakes in their companies. AMG provides this liquidity, but also lets the manager continue to operate autonomously. It enters revenue sharing agreements with the affiliate's managers. These contracts designate the portion of revenue (generated by asset management fees) that is to be applied to operating expenses, manager compensation, and AMG's income, giving priority to AMG share of the pie. For instance, AMG establishes an agreement with an affiliated manager that 65% of the revenue will be allocated to expenses, 10% returned to the affiliated manager, and 25% to AMG. If this asset manager spends 80% on expenses, than AMG will receive the remaining revenue portion (20%) and will be compensated for the 5% in the future before the affiliated managers receive any income.
In 2009, AMG earned a total of $1.4 billion in total revenues. This was a slight increase from its 2008 total revenues of $1.2 billion. As a result, AMG was able to increase its net income. Between 2008 and 2009, AMG's net income increased from a net loss of $1.3 million in 2008 to a net profit of $177 million in 2009.
Eight affiliates account for roughly three quarters of AMG's Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA). AMG's subsidiaries offer mutual funds sold through independent financial advisors and manage private capital accounts for individuals and institutions. For instance, its Tweedy, Browne affiliate manages $670.5 million in client portfolios, but also, $142 million through its mutual fund network.
AMG's affiliates have 3 distinct distribution channels.
The mutual funds are marketed to institutional clients and retail investors. AMG has expanded its presence in 401(k) plans and independent investment advisor platforms in hopes of reaching more potential clients. AMG's affiliates pay 12b-1 fees to financial advisors as compensation for selling mutual fund shares to the their clients. Prominent affiliate mutual funds include Tweedy, Browne Company's Global Value and American Value Funds, Third Avenue, and Brandywine funds.
AMG affiliates offer more than 75 products for institutional investors. Investment products range from micro to large capitalization funds and deep value to aggressive growth funds. Institutional clients include foundations and endowments, and defined contribution plans for corporations and municipalities
AMG caters to two primary high net worth client groups that combined amount to 50,000 accounts managed. The first group includes direct relationships with HNIs and charitable foundations. The second are separately managed accounts. In this type, financial advisors pay AMG to act as of sub-advisor to for their client's account. AMG uses 30 sales professionals to promote its separate account management.
With 37% of EBITDA being generated by mutual funds, relative performance is a key gauge to determining fund flows. If AMG affiliates' funds do well, investors are more likely to funnel new money into them. If they have relatively poor performance, then net flow will slow or be negative.
The affiliates of AMG generate money through management fees. As such, Assets Under Management (AUM) determines how much they earn; the more money they manage, the larger the management fee. AMG's managed assets are focused on global and equity positions. 55% of assets under management are in international positions and close to 80% in equity investments. As a result, shifts in equity prices affect AMG's AUM. Weak equity markets cause capital depreciation and result in slowing capital inflows. AMG's international exposure almost triples industry peer, T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), whose AUM consist of 20% international positions. This exposure will benefit AMG more than competitors when foreign assets appreciation is higher than domestic ones, but the opposite is true if the U.S. is stronger than international markets. A strong U.S. dollar and better relative Gross Domestic Product growth compared to the world are typically bullish for U.S. positions.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2020, the 45-64 age group will increase by 34%, with most of the growth occurring by 2010. This age demographic tends to be those in greatest need of financial advice as retirement approaches. They also tend to have more investable assets than younger people. With increasing savings, asset managers like Affiliated Managers Company stand to benefit; more net inflow supports higher assets under management. Rising AUM increases total management fees collected.
In addition to Organic growth, Affiliated Managers Company revenue is driven by acquisitions. The company plans on continuing to acquire boutique investment firms. Out of the 8500 small to mid-sized asset managers, AMG sees 150-200 core prospects. AMG attempts to only make investments that will had to its Cash Earnings Per Share (EPS) immediately.
AMG's affiliates not only compete with the likes of other asset managers, such as Franklin Resources (BEN), T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), and Janus Capital Group (JNS), but also each other. Due to the autonomous ownership structure, AMG does not synergize its affiliates, but rather, lets the managers decide how to best grow Assets under management (AUM). Of course, the main driver to increasing assets is strong capital appreciation; strong investment performance drives Organic growth and investor net inflows.
Affiliated Managers hope its bet on global equity and alternative assets pays off. While competitors, like T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), are focused more on domestic investments, AMG international assets form 55% of assets under management. This international allocation means relative foreign performance to the United States impacts AMG's revenue compared to its industry peers.