The struggle in streamlining these disparate capabilities underpins its Average Parent rating.
Franklin’s July 2020 acquisition of multiboutique manager Legg Mason remains its largest as of March 2023, but the firm has continued to grow through acquisitions. Its April 2022 and November 2022 purchases of Lexington Partners and Alcentra, respectively, make it one of world’s largest managers of alternative investments (with alts comprising USD 231 billion of its USD 1.4 trillion assets under management as of December 2022), while its July 2022 acquisition of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management adds a novel direct-indexing capability to its managed account offerings. These purchases, however, do little to alleviate the operational complexity of a firm with dozens of investment teams split by asset class, region, and investment platform.
Although there are several standout strategies at the firm, many teams have struggled with personnel turnover, succession challenges, and unappealing performance patterns. Shepherding these geographically disparate capabilities, which have varying levels of centralization of distribution and risk management, shall be quite the challenge for the firm to manage.