Investment management firm Eaton Vance has agreed to acquire 49 per cent of Montreal-based Hexavest in a move with implications for the local market.

Canadian money manager Hexavest has $1.5bn in assets under management in Australia with some large local clients.

On completion of the transaction, Eaton Vance will assume primary responsibility for Hexavest’s new business development outside Canada.

Hexavest provides discretionary investment management strategies to institutional clients in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

The manager uses a predominantly top-down investment style based on the firm’s fundamental research and proprietary quantitative models.

As of May 31, 2012, Hexavest managed $9.9 billion of assets on behalf of more than 100 clients, primarily in global and global ex-US equity mandates.

Eaton Vance now intends to launch a series of new mutual funds in the US and offshore markets sub-advised by Hexavest.

“Expanding our global and international investment capabilities has been and continues to be an important strategic priority for Eaton Vance,” said Thomas E Faust Jr, chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton Vance.

“This transaction will provide our clients with access to a range of top-performing strategies managed by a proven team.

Eaton Vance Corporation is one of the oldest investment-management firms in the US, with a history dating back to 1924.

Along with its affiliates, Eaton Vance manages $197.5 billion in assets as of April 30, 2012.

“We are pleased to welcome Eaton Vance as a significant shareholder and strategic partner,” said Vital Proulx, president and chief investment officer of Hexavest.

“The structure of the transaction accomplishes our goal to gain access to the resources of a leading investment manager of the caliber of Eaton Vance, while preserving our investment and operational autonomy.”

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