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Impax Asset Management Acquires Rival Pax World Management

Complementary areas of expertise and geography drove the deal.

A U.K. asset manager of sustainable investments has acquired a U.S. rival, bringing its total assets under management to approximately $13.4 billion.

Impax Asset Management Group announced Monday that it agreed to buy New Hampshire–based Pax World Management. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed in a statement from the companies, and the deal still needs to be approved by trustees and shareholders of Pax World Funds.

The two firms previously formed a partnership in 2007 to design and manage the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund, which launched in 2008 and today has more than $500 million in assets. Now they will be merging and Impax will substantially increase the amount it oversees.

Impax, a leader in sustainable investments, had about $9.4 billion under management at the end of August, and the acquisition of Pax’s $4.5 billion brings its total to roughly $13.4 billion.

In a statement, Pax said the sale to another firm that specializes in sustainable investing was driven by similar corporate cultures and values, as well as complementary investment practices and geographies.

The terms of the transaction state Pax will be renamed Impax Investment Management (U.S.) and will continue to manage Pax World Funds, which will retain their name.

Joe Keefe, Pax’s President & Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the renamed company and report to Ian Simm, Impax’s chief executive. He will also join Impax Asset Management’s board. Keefe and other members of Pax’s management and senior staff have also agreed to enter new employment agreements to ensure the new U.S. unit’s continued performance.

"We believe that combining our two firms will create a leading sustainable investment manager with business on both sides of the Atlantic,” Keefe said.

Growing interest in sustainable investments in the U.S. was a headline topic of discussion recently during a teleconference meeting of UBS executives in New York City. As a result, and in anticipation of that growth, other deals and partnerships have been happening this year, too.

Morningstar and the Money Management Institute (MMI) announced a partnership in July to launch what they dubbed the Sustainable Investing Initiative, an effort aimed at educating advisors about sustainable investing and how to better incorporate it into their practices.

That same month, Morningstar also took a direct 40 percent stake in Sustainalytics, a global provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research and ratings. The amount of money Morningstar invested has not been made public.

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