As of 2021, two strategic changes were made to accelerate its development.
- The first consisted of identifying among these investments a vertical dedicated to the digital sector and pursuing its rapid development. This vertical, known now as Sienna Digital, accounted for 38% of Sienna’s NAV at end 2021.
- The second consisted of expanding into third-party asset management. Thanks to its experience as an investor, the quality of the signature of Sienna’s shareholder, GBL, and new resources therefore available, Sienna has the clear ambition of becoming a major name in alternative and real asset management in Europe, in a sector offering strong growth prospects for the years ahead.
The development of third-party management represents a major evolution of Sienna’s business and operating model, which has made several important advances in 2021, primarily through external growth. This transformation materialized with the granting of AIFM accreditation in Luxembourg in March 2021, the acquisition of a real estate asset manager in August 2021 and the onset of exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of two other management companies, which closed in March 2022.
Sienna Investment Managers gained real estate investment expertise with the August 2021 acquisition of L’Etoile Properties, a pan-European asset manager with EUR 6.6 billion under management. L’Etoile Properties, now known as Sienna Real Estate, has been attracting capital from international institutional investors for over 30 years and focuses on investing in and managing real estate assets, particularly offices in continental Europe. Sienna Real Estate marked an evolution in its business by launching its first fund in October 2021. As of December 31, 2021, this entity had 85 employees in offices in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Madrid, London and South Korea.
In October 2021, Malakoff Humanis and Sienna Investment Managers announced that they had entered into exclusive negotiations with a view to build a long-term strategic partnership in the field of retirement and employee savings in France. This transaction closed in March 2022. Malakoff Humanis will rely on the expertise of Sienna Investment Managers to develop its retirement and employee savings business and provide its clients a differentiated and more attractive management offer. This innovative partnership, which includes a majority stake in MH GA, the management company of Malakoff Humanis, (EUR 20 billion in AUM at year-end 2021), will enable Sienna to position itself in a fast-growing sector through the distribution of Malakoff Humanis’ savings solutions.
In November 2021, Sienna Investment Managers announced that it had entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire Acofi from certain of its shareholders (La Française Group and non-executive partners). Acofi will provide Sienna Investment Managers recognized expertise in corporate, real estate and renewable energy private debt, with EUR 2.5 billion in AUM (committed and invested). Upon closing this transaction in March 2022, Sienna Investment Managers became Acofi’s sole controlling shareholder along with its partners.
These transactions enabled Sienna Investment Managers to grow EUR 6.6 billion of third-party AUM in December 2021 to approximately EUR 30 billion in March 2022. This is fully in line with Sienna Investment Managers’ ambition to build a European leader in alternative asset management and thereby position itself as an integration platform for this sector. In an environment where private markets and real assets offer particularly attractive prospects, global alternative platforms will be best positioned to deal with future consolidation. Sienna Investment Managers (“Sienna,” formerly Sienna Capital) is GBL’s alternative assets platform. It has taken on a new brand name to better reflect the diversity of its businesses and ambitions. Since its creation in 2013, Sienna has experienced strong growth by exclusively managing GBL’s assets through two strategies: investments in alternative funds managed by top-notch firms and direct private equity co-investments. Its NAV at end December 2021 totaled EUR 3.2 billion. 92