Macquarie Asset Management to acquire Central Park Group

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The logo of Australia's biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd adorns a desk in the reception area of its Sydney office headquarters in Australia, Oct. 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

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Oct 21 (Reuters) - Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG.AX) said on Thursday its asset management division has agreed to acquire investment advisory firm Central Park Group to expand in the U.S. wealth management market.

The acquisition will let Macquarie Asset Management tap into the growing market of providing easy access to alternative assets such as private equity and real estate to high net-worth individuals, who currently allocate less than 5% of their wealth to such investments, said Graeme Conway, the firm's chief commercial officer.

"We see this market quadrupling in the next few years,” Conway said.

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High net-worth individuals, who have assets worth up to $25 million, are estimated to control investments valued at more than $19 trillion, according to consulting firm McKinsey.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2006, New York-based Central Park Group provides a platform for high net-worth individuals to invest in private equity, hedge funds, real estate, fund-of-funds, and other so-called alternative investment products. It has $3.5 billion in assets under management and its acquisition by Macquarie is expected to close in early 2022.

Macquarie Asset Management has about $520 billion in assets under management spread across Australia, the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

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Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Mark Porter

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