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The Riverside Company announced that its affiliate has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Townsend Group (“Townsend”) from Aon plc.

The Riverside Company announced that its affiliate has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Townsend Group (“Townsend”) from Aon plc.

Global investment firm partners with leading group of investors
to sponsor strategic partnership with Townsend management

The Riverside Company announced that its affiliate has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Townsend Group (“Townsend”) from Aon plc (NYSE: AON) a leading global professional services firm.

Townsend is a leading provider of global real estate and real asset investment advisory services and offers complementary investment management, advisory and capital solutions via primary funds, secondaries, co-investments and direct investments. Townsend is a leading adviser to global public and private pension plans, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and foundations. The firm has a global footprint with more than 110 employees located in Cleveland, London, Hong Kong and San Francisco and advises clients with real assets in excess of $218 billion (USD). The transaction represents a successful outcome for all stakeholders as part of Aon’s portfolio management strategy. Townsend’s prior history as a standalone business will help to ensure a swift and effective transition to its new partners.

“Townsend has always been an innovator and we have grown our business through thoughtful collaboration with our clients and an integrated team approach, with a senior team averaging 20 years of working together,” said Anthony Frammartino, president of Townsend who will be named chairman and CEO of the firm upon the closing of the transaction. “This new partnership ensures continuity and exciting growth opportunities for our clients and further development opportunities for our colleagues. We are grateful for the continued support of our clients globally and the next initiatives for growth supported by our partners at Riverside, and we appreciate and look forward to maintaining our long-standing relationship with Aon.”

Riverside Managing Partner Sean Ozbolt added, “We are excited to back the outstanding Townsend team and support the next phase of growth for the company. Townsend is a market leader with a long and impressive performance history and a strong reputation in real asset advisory and investment management solutions.”

A group of leading institutions are co-investing alongside Riverside in the transaction, including Bluerock, MLC Private Equity and Ten Capital Management, which acted as an advisor to Riverside in the transaction.

In addition to its investment in the transaction, Bluerock, a leading institutional alternative asset manager with more than $18 billion in acquired and managed assets, will enter into a strategic partnership with Townsend to expand Townsend’s institutional investment capabilities to high-net-worth investors. “Townsend’s leadership in the institutional real assets space is a natural fit with Bluerock’s pioneering role in delivering institutional-quality alternative investments to individual investors over the last 22 years,” said Ramin Kamfar, Bluerock’s CEO. “We look forward to partnering with Townsend to develop innovative new investment solutions to serve the growing needs of retail investors.”

Following the close of the transaction, which is subject to final regulatory approvals, Aon will maintain a team dedicated to serving its clients’ real estate investment programs, while collaborating with specialists like Townsend to support specific client needs.

“We are grateful for the many contributions of this exceptional team, and we know they have a positive future in partnership with Riverside,” said Eric Andersen, president of Aon. “We remain committed to helping employers, fiduciaries and investment officers across a broad spectrum of client need from investment consulting to delegated solutions, while we focus on further serving our clients through our leading Risk Capital and Human Capital capabilities.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Moelis & Company LLC served as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to Aon. Berkshire Global Advisors L.P. served as financial advisor and Jones Day served as legal advisor to Riverside.

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Holly Mueller
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Cleveland: +1 216 535 2236

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