Goldman Sachs Asset Management to acquire Benchmark Asset Management Company

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is to acquire Benchmark Asset Management Company, an asset management company in India. The transaction is expected to close later in the year, subject to regulatory approvals. The terms of the transaction were however not disclosed.

Benchmark Asset Management Company was founded in 2001 and is the number one Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) provider by both market share and assets under management (AUM) in India. It has approximately $700 million AUM. In addition, Goldman Sachs Asset Management intends to bring actively managed on-shore funds to India.

Currently, Goldman Sachs Asset Management already has an experienced team of eight based in Mumbai, headed by Prashant Khemka. The team currently provides research for off-shore funds including Indian equities and BRIC equities.

Oliver Bolitho, Head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in Asia, commented that India is one of the world’s largest growth markets and a strategic priority for Goldman Sachs. Bolitho stated that the acquisition of Benchmark illustrates Goldman’s commitment to expand in India and will accelerate the growth of the business. He further reiterated that Goldman will bring on-shore funds to India – building on the strong expertise that Prashant Khemka's team has established.

Commenting on the acquisition, Sanjiv Shah, Executive Director and Co-founder of Benchmark Asset Management Company, noted that as index and ETF product demand continues to grow significantly in India, Goldman Sachs’ local expertise and global platform will provide the firm an opportunity to grow further and enhance its offering for clients.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is the asset management arm of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., which manages $840 billion as of end December 2010. Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides discretionary investment advisory services and has investment professionals in all major financial centers around the world. The company offers investment strategies across a broad range of asset classes to institutional and individual clients globally.

Goldman Sachs Group is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities and investment management services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals.

Goldman Sachs has been serving Indian clients since the early 1990s and established an onshore presence in India in December 2006 following a ten-year joint venture. Today, it serves leading corporate and institutional clients through corporate finance (investment banking), equity sales and trading and fixed income securities businesses, as well as providing macroeconomic and investment research and offshore asset management services.

21st March 2011