Towers Watson to Buy Oxford Investment Partners

The deal would bring Towers Watson into the ranks of Mercer as a full-service asset manager/investment consultancy. 

(December 26, 2012) – Investment consulting giant Towers Watson is set to acquire Oxford Investment Partners, pending regulatory approval. 

This acquisition would substantially boost Towers Watson’s asset management capabilities, bringing it in more direct competition with Mercer as a full-service management/advisory firm. Towers Watson is now responsible for the day-to-day management of over $57 billion for investors globally. 

“We are always looking to respond to the changing needs of our clients and bringing OXIP [Oxford Investment Partners] into Towers Watson is another such example,” Chris Ford, Towers Watson’s head of investments for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement. “We are meeting the need of clients to gain access to a spread of best-in-class managers across a diverse range of asset classes, but in a simple and cost-effective way. We have been the sole investment advisor to OXIP, and a member of its investment committee, since its establishment in 2006. This acquisition is testimony to the continuing strength of our relationship with OXIP’s investment professionals, who will all remain engaged in managing the OXIP funds.” 

The seven-year-old Oxford bills itself as a “boutique wealth management firm,” and manages roughly $1 billion on behalf of pension funds, foundations, and university endowments, among other entities. 

This transaction is the culmination of a six-year advisory relationship between the two financial services firms. 

Karl Sternberg, one of Oxford’s founders, said he was pleased with the deal. “We are delighted to be joining Towers Watson as the logical next step in a long and close relationship. We will continue to focus on the business of achieving optimal risk-adjusted returns from a diversified portfolio of assets; something we have not wavered from since we started doing so for a group of Oxford colleges in 2006.” 

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Towers Watson has said the acquisition will not change its earnings expectations for the 2013 fiscal year.