New York, Paris – March 22nd 2019 – BlackRock today announced that it has made a binding offer and entered into an exclusive agreement, subject to the conditions below, to acquire 100% of the equity interests in eFront, the world’s leading end-to-end alternative investment management software and solutions provider, from private equity firm Bridgepoint and eFront employees, for $1.3 billion in cash. The combination of eFront with Aladdin, BlackRock’s investment operating system used by more than 225 institutions around the world, will set a new standard in investment and risk management technology.
eFront, which serves more than 700 clients in 48 countries, is a comprehensive technology solution for managing the alternatives investment lifecycle, from due diligence and portfolio planning to performance and risk analysis, across a range of alternative asset classes.
“Technology and illiquid alternatives are two pillars of BlackRock’s growth, and this transaction provides a unique opportunity to accelerate our positioning in both,” said Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock. “We’re particularly excited about eFront’s global footprint, including its headquarters in Paris, which is a key market on the continent for BlackRock. As a global asset manager, we are increasingly focused on understanding the unique needs of clients in each community where we operate. eFront immediately deepens our presence and technology capabilities in France, Europe and across the globe.”
“eFront vastly expands Aladdin’s alternatives capabilities and further distinguishes it as the most comprehensive investment operating system in the world,” said Rob Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock. “In addition to the benefits eFront will bring to Aladdin clients, the transaction also enhances BlackRock’s own alternatives investment platform and advances the company’s goal of using technology to strengthen its leadership position in the illiquid investment space and providing whole portfolio solutions to clients.”
A Whole-Portfolio Approach
As alternatives go mainstream, investment managers’ ability to seamlessly manage portfolios across public and private asset classes on a single platform is critical. eFront will extend Aladdin’s end-to-end processing solutions in alternative asset classes, enabling clients to get an enterprise view of their portfolio.
“There are $9 trillion in alternative assets under management in the industry today and clients are incorporating them into their investment strategies at a record pace,” said Goldstein. “This has created an unprecedented need for risk and investment management capabilities spanning both public and private asset classes.”
“Offering eFront’s leading capabilities in alternatives to the Aladdin Community will allow our clients to access a ‘whole portfolio’ approach that only Aladdin will provide. We are excited to welcome eFront’s 700 employees to BlackRock as we continue to offer eFront as its own platform and enrich its value proposition with Aladdin analytics.”
“Aladdin has long set the standard for investment and risk management technology and eFront is excited to be joining the market leader,” said Tarek Chouman, Chief Executive Officer of eFront. “BlackRock’s dynamic platform and global reach will allow us to help even more clients with their alternative asset needs and greatly enhance the value proposition we offer our clients today.”
Xavier Robert, partner at Bridgepoint, said: “eFront is a high growth business which since its acquisition by Bridgepoint in 2015 has undergone a period of significant transformation to become the market leader in software for the alternative asset management industry. With its strategically positioned platform, a leading product portfolio, and a high quality management team, the business is now poised for further growth under BlackRock’s ownership.”