Apex Group to acquire Brazilian fund administrator BRL Trust Investimentos

Latest acquisition will broaden Apex Group’s expansion into Latin America as its acquisition spree continues.

By Wesley Bray

Global financial services provider, Apex Group, has agreed to acquire Brazilian independent fund administrator, BRL Trust Investimentos.

For the active fund services M&A player the acquisition reinforces its intent for the region, supplementing its private equity capabilities while adding liquid asset servicing capabilities for Brazil and the broader Latin American market.

The deal follows the recent announcement by the Group of its intent to acquire MAF, the fund administration business of the Brazil-based Banco Modal.

The BRL Trust business will add $38 billion in assets under administration and $32 billion in assets under custody, across 560 international and Brazilian investment funds.

BRL Trust serves a wide range of clients, focusing on large international institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, large conglomerates and financial institutions. The fund administrator also serves prominent domestic investors including asset managers, single and multi-family offices, banks, insurance companies and other professional investors.

“We continue to see significant opportunity in the Latin American market and with the strategic acquisition of BRL Trust, Apex becomes the largest independent services provider in the Brazilian market. Whether managers are looking to raise, operate and invest funds domestically in Brazil or across international markets, Apex will now be the default choice to service these funds using a coordinated single-source offering,” said Peter Hughes, founder and CEO of Apex Group.

Once the acquisition is complete, BRL Trust will add over 160 employees to the Group, increasing its overall headcount in the Americas to over 500 people.

The deal will also broaden Apex’s presence in the Americas through offices in São Paulo and New York.

“The strategic acquisition of BRL Trust will benefit our US clients through further expansion of our cross-border offering in the Americas, allowing for comprehensive multi-jurisdictional coverage and the provision of expert local market support.This addition to the Group will strengthen the geographic reach of our single-source solution, enabling us to seamlessly support global clients with structure in Brazil and at the same time, connecting Brazilian clients to international markets via their global structures,” said Georges Archibald, managing director, Americas at Apex Group.

The BRL Trust acquisition follows previously announced acquisitions by the Group this year of Israeli fund administrator Tzur Management, as well as Mauritius-based fund services provider GFin.

Meanwhile, Apex remains embroiled in a bidding war with fund services rival SS&C for Australian administrator group Mainstream.

“We share Apex’s vision for the significant value and growth potential in the Brazilian market and we are excited to become part of a Group that has grown to become one of the largest international providers, offering the broadest depth and range of services in the industry. Our clients will see the benefits of Apex’s international experience and presence as well as an expanded range of products,” said Danilo Barbieri, co-chief executive officer, BRL Trust Investimentos.

Completion of the acquisition is expected in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.