American Express ( AXP) agreed to buy British money-manager Threadneedle Asset Management from Zurich Financial for $570 million in cash.

The acquisition is part of a larger strategy to expand asset management globally, following some anemic quarters in the segment that the company blamed on weak U.S. equity markets. In the most recent quarter, American Express Financial Advisors earned $133 million, down 27% from $182 million a year ago. Total revenue decreased 2%.

Threadneedle manages about $75 billion for insurance companies, private investors, corporate clients, investment funds and pension plans, both in Britain and throughout Europe. It will continue managing certain assets for Zurich Financial for up to eight years.

"We see tremendous potential for long-term growth in the European asset management market, and by adding Threadneedle to our global asset management businesses American Express will be well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity," American Express said.

American Express fell 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.43 Friday.

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