Aviva Buys Value Manager

January 5, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Aviva Investors has agreed to buy 100% of River Road Asset Management, a Louisville-based U.S. value equity manager.

A news release said River Road will form part of Aviva Investors North America (AINA), which specializes in institutional fixed income and liability driven asset management for insurance companies, public pension funds, foundations and endowments, family offices, and other institutional clients. AINA is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

River Road serves domestic and international clients through institutional separate account and investment sub-advisory services, according to the announcement. The company uses a proprietary “absolute value” investment philosophy with an objective of providing attractive, sustainable returns over the long-term while minimizing downside portfolio risk. River Road has $3.6 billion in assets under management as of November 30, 2009.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this transaction presents,” said James C. Shircliff, CEO of River Road, in the announcement. “It will allow Aviva Investors to integrate River Road’s equity investment expertise and strong institutional relationships, while allowing River Road to leverage the fixed income capabilities, financial strength and global presence of Aviva Investors.”

River Road’s management team will remain unchanged and River Road will continue to be based in Louisville.  The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter.