(Bloomberg) -- Asset managers including Invesco Ltd. and Franklin Resources Inc. added shares of SVB Financial Group in the months before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank wiped 60% off its stock value in a single day.
The firms, together with Two Sigma Investments, DE Shaw & Co., Renaissance Technologies LLC and BlackRock Inc., were among the top 10 buyers of the shares since September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from fourth quarter and more recent regulatory filings and other fund documents.
Silicon Valley Bank’s technology startup clients and investors fled last week, spurring the second-biggest bank failure in US history. The swift collapse of the lender sent ripples through the tech and finance industries, prompting the government to protect client deposits.
SVB has lured some of the world’s biggest asset managers, ranging from passive to active investors and hedge funds. Franklin Resources’s nearly $7.2 billion Franklin Mutual Shares Fund owned $134 million worth of SVB shares at the end of January, according to a document. Several of the firm’s funds also had small exposure to debt of Silicon Valley Bank, failed Signature Bank and Silvergate as of March 9, according to a recent update posted on its website.
It is not clear whether some of them still held the shares, especially for quant firms like Two Sigma and Renaissance which trade in and out of positions frequently.
Representatives of Renaissance, DE Shaw, RBC Global Asset Management, and Massachusetts Financial Services Co., declined to comment, citing policies of not discussing specific holdings. A representative of Invesco could not immediately comment. Those of Mirova, Ensign and Champlain Investment Partners did not immediately reply to Bloomberg News queries.
Franklin Templeton said in an emailed statement that it has “negligible exposure to Silicon Valley Bank at a company level.”
Two Sigma’s one million share position in the fourth quarter regulatory filing reflected only its holding on the last day of the year, said a person familiar. The position was spread across a number of trading vehicles and did not represent a fundamental view. It had been cut by more than half before SVB collapsed and accounted for less than 10 basis points of the gross market value of the vehicles, the person added.
BlackRock said in an emailed statement that it invests on behalf of clients in a range of index and other diversified funds and accounts with limited exposure to Silicon Valley Bank.
Others got out just in time. RBC Global Asset Management UK sold its entire stake in the fourth quarter, which would have been worth $248 million at the end of December. Axiom Investors also exited during the period, when its stake would have been valued at $61 million.
RBC declined to comment. Representatives for Boston Partners and Axiom didn’t immediately respond during non-business hours. Rathbones said it doesn’t have any direct exposure to SVB, according to a statement on its website.
--With assistance from Taiga Uranaka and Takashi Nakamichi.
(Updates with comments from Franklin Templeton)
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