Small mutual fund firms and asset managers, take heed: there's a new acquirer. Today Steve Baffico revealed
the launch of Four Wood Capital Partners
, a new investment platform focused on capital preservation and income distribution solutions, with the plan to acquire and partner with boutique asset managers across multiple asset classes.
"We're on-boarding boutique asset managers of distinction. Initially, this is really starting with partnerships," said Baffico, who previously led retail distribution at Guggenheim Funds and also was a managing director at BlackRock [see MFWire.com, 7/21/2011
]. "We're looking at folks who fit our cultural mode."
Baffico told MFWire.com
that he's looking at managers with between $15 million and several hundred million dollars in assets, for partnership and acquisition. He's interested in working with managers across four broad asset classes: alternatives, private equity, real estate, and traditional equity and fixed income.
"We are going to be living in a two percent or less GDP growth world for the next few years," Baffico said. "How can you make a six percent return in a two percent return world?"
And he might take in outside capital to help bring his vision to life.
"We're evaluating that right now," Baffico said.
Watch for Baffico to unveil his first deals and advisory board members soon.
Company Press Release
New York, 4 November 2011 – Steven A. Baffico, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, today announced the formation of Four Wood Capital Partners LLC, a newly organized, independent financial services firm focused on delivering unique investment solutions to the market. Through both organic capabilities, as well as partnerships with boutique managers of distinction, the firm seeks to deliver a diverse range of investment products across traditional asset management, real estate and private equity platforms. The goal is to provide investors with a diversity of wealth preservation and current income strategies to meet their liability-driven needs. Four Wood Capital Partners and its subsidiaries serve institutions, high net worth and individual investors.
The founding partners of the firm bring a wealth of investment management, origination, banking, distribution and capital markets experience to the venture. Formerly, Steve Baffico was Senior Managing Director, Head of US Retail for Guggenheim Funds Distributors’ U.S. asset management business, overseeing assets under management and/or supervision of more than $20 billion. Prior to Guggenheim Partners, he was a Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $3.6 trillion in assets under management, where he held numerous senior leadership roles in over a decade of service and experience across retail and institutional markets.
Seeking to leverage that experience for investors, Four Wood Capital Partners develops strategies which seek to preserve wealth for today’s investors. This mandate is underpinned by the firm’s belief that the current investment landscape stems from major secular changes in global financial markets including industry consolidation, regulatory reform, systemic changes in the nature of capital flows, political turmoil and therein the likely prospect of slow economic growth over the next half-decade. Adhering to a core mandate of principal protection and income products, Four Wood and its affiliates seek to effectively meet the liability-driven needs of institutions and individual investors.
Baffico said: “In these challenging and unprecedented markets, wealth preservation and current income are the paramount concerns of our clients, and accordingly, the core focus of Four Wood Capital Partners and its subsidiaries. We seek to deliver a diverse portfolio of consistent, credit-worthy cash-flow returns for investors across real estate, debt and equity markets and private equity platforms. The further democratization of these asset classes through dependable current income-based product strategies significantly aids our investors in meeting their liability-driven return targets and effectively managing their risk.”
Four Wood focuses on turnkey origination and management of commercial real estate funds for private investors. The funds are designed to seek out best-in-class partnerships across the industry and to offer portfolios diversified by asset type across multi-family, hospitality, office, residential and retail. Seeking debt and equity investors, Four Wood offers funds across the risk and opportunity spectrum, with a specialty focus on off-market and middle-market transactions.
Four Wood seeks to provide insightful, timely asset management and strategic advisory transactions. We provide origination, packaging, and distribution solutions. The foundation of our execution is based on established partnerships with emerging boutique managers of distinction across the industry. Accordingly, we have developed a relevant investment platform, closely aligning the interests of our investors with those of our best-in-class asset management partnerships.
Four Wood’s private equity expertise is concentrated on IP (Intellectual Property) with an emphasis on lifestyle brand acquisition and leasing arrangements. Our analysis of individual brand equity, the consumer marketplace and how ‘brand’ influences purchasing behavior, encompasses the impact of social media, advertising and word-of-mouth. Our goal is to identify new or emerging brands and/or existing brands and leverage their ability to capitalize on dynamic market trends. These opportunities are delivered to investors through current-income focused portfolios.
Baffico added: “As a trusted advisor, Four Wood Capital Partners is uniquely positioned within the financial services industry to empower our clients with both the investment insight of the firm as well as with customized portfolio implementation and product solutions across today’s most critical markets. Leveraging our experience, resources and relationships, we deliver the totality of the firm through insight, integrity and commitment.”
About Four Wood Capital Partners LLC:
FWCP is a newly organized and independent financial services firm focused on delivering unique investment solutions to the market. Through both organic capabilities, as well as partnerships with boutique managers of distinction, the firm seeks to deliver a diverse range of investment products across traditional asset management, real estate and private equity platforms. The goal is to provide investors with a diversity of wealth preservation and current income strategies to meet their liability-driven needs. Four Wood Capital Partners and its subsidiaries serve institutions, high net worth and individual investors and is headquartered in New York.
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