UPDATE: This article, originally published at 8:01 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015, has been updated with comment from La Maison.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A new French investment firm, IM Square, will begin buying stakes in fledgling U.S. asset managers by the end of the year, helping the entrepreneurs expand and attract new clients internationally.
Targets will be firms that have achieved profitability and name recognition in their home markets and hold between $1 billion to $15 billion in assets, CEO Philippe Couvrecelle said in an interview. Some firms in Asia and Europe will also be considered, he said.
"IM Square will help them grow, principally outside of their domestic market," the company said in a statement. "To date, a few dozen companies selected from an investment universe of 1,000 asset managers feature in IM Square's target pipeline."
IM Square is a venture of PTH Conseil, whose founder, Couvrecelle, partnered with Jean Maunoury. Both previously worked at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, where Couvrecelle was chairman, according to a statement and the company's website.
Founding shareholders -- powerhouse asset manager Amundi; venture capital firm Eurazeo and investing club La Maison -- have agreed to commit 40 million euros in initial funding, and IM Square plans to invest a minimum of 250 million euros over the next two to four years, according to a company statement. IM Square may add more shareholders and finance its growth with an initial public offering, the company said.
"This highly innovative project for the asset management industry combines financial and industrial partnerships while respecting individual companies' mindsets," Couvrecelle said in the statement.
Eurazeo, formed with the merger of Eurfrance and Azeo, sees IM Square as well positioned to take advantage of the robust asset-management industry.
It's "a wonderful initiative that combines growth and entrepreneurship," Marc Frappier, Eurazeo's managing director, said in the statement. "We look forward to supporting its founders by providing the long-term perspective and financial strength that are needed."
IM Square's team has already "proven its ability to identify and collaborate with esteemed asset management firms in the U.S. and in Europe -- companies that have succeeded in delivering superior performances and in creating wealth," said La Maison Chairman Michel Cicurel. "IM Square will enable its shareholders to benefit from this growth potential"