Trian pushes Invesco, Janus Henderson to consider deals-filings

BOSTON (Reuters) - Activist investor Trian Fund Management LP said on Friday that it owns large stakes in Invesco Ltd and Janus Henderson Group Plc and plans to encourage the asset managers to consider strategic options like a merger as the industry faces a wave of consolidation.

Trian said in a regulatory filing that it owns 9.9% stakes in both Atlanta-headquartered Invesco and Denver-headquartered Janus Henderson and has spoken with both firms.

The news that Trian, which has a history of investing in asset management firms, is pushing for changes at the two prominent U.S. firms lifted stock prices in pre-market trading on Friday. Invesco’s shares were up 5.78% while Janus Henderson’s shares were up 6.48%.

Reuters reported news of the new stakes on Thursday and representatives for the companies said on Thursday that each company was committed to delivering value for shareholders.

Friday’s filing had more details, including that Trian has asked for two board seats for its co-founders Nelson Peltz and Ed Garden at Invesco.

The filing said Trian has held “constructive” discussion with Invesco’s chief executive officer Martin Flanagan and chief financial officer Allison Dukes. At Janus Henderson, Trian has spoken with non-executive chairman Richard Gillingwater and intends to speak with the board and management about strategic and operational initiatives, the filing said.

It is unusual for an activist to take two stakes in companies in the same business at the same time and push for consolidation, industry lawyers said. But Trian has experience in asset management industry consolidation having sat on the board of Legg Mason which was purchased by rival Franklin Resources earlier this year.

Smaller players are struggling to stay relevant with giants like Vanguard and BlackRock controlling the bulk of the industry’s assets at a time investors are preferring passive index funds to more expensive actively managed portfolios.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama