The four affiliates are Baring Asset Management, Babson Capital Management, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, and Wood Creek Capital Management.
Subject to regulatory approval, the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) expects to complete the first phase of integration of the four brands in the final quarter of 2016.
MassMutual said the Barings name was chosen for the combined group due to its global presence, diverse client base, and its heritage, which dates back to 1762.
The combined group, with offices in 20 countries employing more than 1,700 staff, will be led by Tom Finke, currently chief executive and chairman of Babson.
Barings’ brand and logo will be redesigned and its new headquarters will be in Charlotte, North Carolina. Distribution and marketing capabilities will be combined to support the new firm, with no change in investment management teams expected.
David Brennan, chairman and chief executive of Barings, will retire as planned this summer.
Brennan said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Barings organisation to combine with its affiliates to create a new, more diversified global manager.”
Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and chief executive of MassMutual, added: “By bringing together these highly complementary world-class affiliates under the iconic and respected Barings brand, MassMutual enhances its already-strong offering of investment capabilities and outstanding service to an expanded universe of clients around the globe.
Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott said: “This seems to be good news for Barings and the UK part of this deal.
“The four businesses that are being merged are very complementary and have very little overlap in terms of product. As the Barings name is to be retained and even used more, it looks like a very strong commitment to the brand from the parent company,” he said.