(Bloomberg) -- The biggest acquisition in the asset-management industry this year began with a casual conversation between chief executive officers in February about how firms in Europe will be forced to charge their clients for managing money.

The deal -- a $2.6 billion merger between Henderson Group Plc and Janus Capital Group Inc. -- underscores the challenges that asset managers face: rising regulatory costs and growing pressure on fees from cheaper competitors. Andrew Formica, Henderson’s CEO, and Janus Capital CEO Dick Weil are betting that size is the answer.

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