Northern Trust Corp.'s plan to buy the Florida money manager Carlo Domino Associates is a bid to broaden its investment style, according to a senior executive.
On Friday the banking company said it had agreed to buy the $2 billion West Palm Beach value manager for $28 million in cash.
The purchase would be the Chicago company's first foray into value-style investing, said Stephen B. Timbers, president of Northern Trust Global Investments. Carl Domino would be rolled into a new unit called Northern Trust Value Investors.
Northern Trust, which manages $299 billion of assets, will not stop there, Mr. Timbers said. It is also looking to broaden its capabilities in global equity management, he said. However, Mr. Timbers said, this is more likely to be done through a series of hires in London than an acquisition.
Though value stocks are out of style, Mr. Timbers said the Carl Domino deal was necessary to fill a gap in his company's product line.
"We know the market swings between growth and value stocks, and we want to be ready when value stocks swing back into favor," he said. "This isn't going to change Northern, but for our investing clients it is important to have these kind of capabilities."
Northern Trust not the first company to get ready for the comeback of value investing, said Burton J. Greenwald, a mutual fund consultant based in Philadelphia.
"It is pretty clear that everyone is convinced that value stocks will swing into favor," Mr. Greenwald said. "Though everything else has grown, the value sector has not participated. But if that should swing back, you want to be able to have a horse in that race."
Earlier in the month Northern Trust said it had agreed to buy the licensed custody and fund administration unit of National Westminster Bank PLC of London.