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May 2024
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MassMutual amalgamates four asset-management affiliates as Barings

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has successfully completed the integration of four institutional affiliates: Babson Capital Management (Babson), Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers (Cornerstone), Wood Creek Capital Management (Wood Creek), and Baring Asset Management (Barings) are now operating as a unified company under the Barings name. 

The US insurance giant announced its intention to integrate the firms on March 9 and officially launched the newly-created organisation yesterday (September 12), reflected by a spanking new Barings brand and logo.

“This merger marks an exciting moment in our history, and it enhances our ability to provide comprehensive, innovative solutions to help our clients meet their investment objectives,” comments Tom Finke, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Barings, who was previously chairman and CEO at Babson.

He continues: “The new Barings possesses expanded depth and breadth of expertise across the global fixed income, equity, real estate and alternative asset markets. In addition, our integrated global footprint gives us a broader perspective, access to a more-diverse set of opportunities and strengthens our ability to invest across global markets.”

Back in March, Mr. Finke told Asia Asset Management that the move would be a positive development for Babson, “as we believe that by unifying with our affiliates we will create a more meaningful presence in Asia. Across the existing Barings, Babson and Cornerstone entities today, we have nearly 200 professionals serving clients from offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Taipei”.

On the rebranding exercise, Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO at MassMutual, remarks: “We are extremely pleased to reach this important milestone, bringing together our world-class, institutional asset-management affiliates into a unified global asset manager and broadening our offerings and commitment to clients around the world. Importantly, the launch of the ‘new’ Barings builds on the distinctive legacies of these four firms, represents an important strategic step forward that further differentiates us in the marketplace and positions our asset-management operations to continue to succeed and lead in the years ahead.”

Each investment area will have dedicated leadership under the new Barings regime:

  • Russell Morrison is president and head of global fixed income and equity, and is responsible for a significant portion of the firm’s investment business. Prior to his new role, he served as head of Babson’s global high-yield investments group.
  • Scott Brown, who joined Barings in 2014, is global head of real estate. He is responsible for implementing corporate policies and strategic initiatives for Barings Real Estate Advisers, and oversees the investment side of the global real estate business.
  • Anthony Sciacca is head of global alternative investments, responsible for overseeing the group’s investment activities across private equity, asset-based investments, and real assets. Prior to this, he was the head of global business development for Babson.

The integration of the four firms means that Barings is now one of the world’s largest and most diversified asset-management organisations. As of June 30 this year, the combined entity had more than US$275 billion in client AUM; over 1,700 employees in 41 offices across 17 countries; and over 600 investment professionals globally across a broad range of asset classes.