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Rating:Kornitzer Preps Product Launch Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 09, 2001

Kornitzer Preps Product Launch

Reported by Tamiko Toland

Amidst market panic and general unease, some might scratch their heads when they hear that Kornitzer Capital Management thinks the launch of its newest fund is well-timed. The Buffalo Science and Technology Fund is scheduled to open on April 16.

"We're crossing our fingers that the timing is good," said Kent Gasaway, senior vice president at the Shawnee Mission, Kansas-based firm.

Tom Laming, lead manager for the firm's global fund and equity fund, will serve as portfolio manager. The firm has run a pool fund for its trust clients for the past three years. With good performance in that arena, Kornitzer decided to bring the investment style public.

"The current fund is priced monthly," explained Gasaway. "There's definitely a group of people that likes to see it in the paper every day and likes to be able to get in and out whenever they want."

While Kornitzer manages the Buffalo family of funds and sub-advises for the ASDA Five-Star funds, the firm's main business focuses on serving high net worth clientele. The Buffalo funds were started as a service for those clients, particularly to offer a variety of investment styles for IRAs.

Mutual funds do not constitute Kornitzer's core business, but they are seen as an area of potential growth for the firm.

"We would love to grow our mutual fund side, but that's going to take care of itself," said Gasaway. "It's still mostly for our clients, but they are open-ended funds and anyone can buy them."

Currently, Kornitzer doesn't market its funds, but it doesn't really have to. According to Gasaway, the majority of the funds' assets come from existing high net worth clients. The firm relies on media coverage of the funds' performance in order to attract inflows, and the funds are already profitable, so Kornitzer is under no internal pressure to gather assets.

"We haven't done anything extraordinary as far as trying to attract money," said Gasaway. "We don't feel like we can compete with the ones with deep pockets, the Fidelities and Januses and so forth."

What's next for Kornitzer? Gasaway said the firm plans on staying in its boutique niche, but at some point it will pick up its skirts and start a-marketing.

"We haven't spent a lot of time calling advisors or getting on the road, which is probably the next step for us," said Gasaway. "That's a natural next progression, but we're growing more word of mouth rather than other people marketing for us, which doesn't cost us anything. It won't last forever, but while you're doing well, that's kind of the idea." 

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