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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Volatility Specialist Plans Three More Mutual Funds

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Rob Steele has plans to launch three more mutual funds, and he could get started as early as this summer. Steele is the president and co-founder of Boston-based Bishop Asset Management, which launched its debut mutual, the Bishop Volatility Flex Fund, on November 19 (see The MFWire, 2/8/2011).

"I'm a serial product guy. I love product," Steele told The MFWire. "We're looking at other products down the road that will be complementary."

In an interview with The MFWire, Steele confided that he plans to launch three more mutual funds, all employing similar "volatility monetizing" strategies to the original fund: one focusing on small caps, one on emerging markets and one on Treasuries. He aims to have $100 million in the Volatility Flex Fund by the summer, and then he can start prepping a second fund.

"There's nothing like it out there," Steele said of the Volatility Flex Fund. "I still want to own the space."

Steele, Bishop co-founder Kevin Nugent and distribution chief Kim Furnald all went to Ohio Wesleyan University. Ohio Wesleyan's mascot is the Fighting Bishop, the inspiration for the new fund firm's name.

Bishop, Steele confirmed, currently works with several back-office providers: Gemini, Northern Lights Trust and Union Bank. For now Bishop is focusing its distribution efforts on fee-based RIAs.

"They also scrutinize the best," Steele said of RIAs. "That way you're battle-tested."

Eventually, though, Steele hopes to reach into the wirehouse, institutional and even direct retail channels. 

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