It's rare that an executive will brag about the number of clients he will talk out of a sale.
Yet, that's the approach that Bob Dorsey
, co-founder and managing director at Ultimus Fund Solutions
, prides himself upon.
"We really don't try to sell clients anything. We try to educate them on what is involved in launching a successful fund. We talk to them a lot about product design, pricing of a product, distribution channels, compliance and operational matters. It really is an educational process," Dorsey recently told MFWire
Dorsey's company plans to ratchet up the education process this year. It recently hired Huntington Fund
chief operating and chief compliance officer Dave Carson
to the role of vice president, director of client strategies.
The title was carefully selected, Dorsey said.
We gave a lot of thought to the title, but it really is that. The title came from the job description that we ultimately put together for this. It was to help clients refine their strategy. Advisors know how to invest and put together their strategies. We help them figure out "How do we take a great strategy and put it into a successful mutual fund?" With that title, it is really to help clients with their strategies. Help them take their investment strategies into mutual fund strategy.
Ultimus plans to rev up this education strategy over the course of this year, in particular as it builds up the functionality and client list of its burgeoning Ultimus Managers Trust
The trust is admittedly young, and small. Launched in 2012, the trust currently has four advisors as clients, each sponsoring one fund. The total AUM for the four funds total roughly $35 million.
In the next few days, a fifth advisor is going into registration to launch two more funds on the series.
Dorsey plans to bring on six more advisors over the course of the next 12 months. To do that, his firm is working on hiring more attorneys, accounting and compliance experts to beef up the trust's functionality.
He sees a booming demand for such trusts as more hedge funds and alt managers look to break into the mutual fund space.
The series trust is key, Dorsey says, because it gives Ultimus a way to break the ice with aspiring fundsters over the path they want to take to '40 Act land — be it via a series or standalone trust.
"After we talk with them, some realize they don't want to go into a series trust. They want to have their own trust and their own board. They will have the flexibility of working within a law firm they are familiar with or auditors that they have respect for," he said. "Whether they end up with the series trust, a standalone trust or something else, the series trust was key for bringing the clients in for initial meetings. Had we not had a series trust to have this conversation, they would have gone somewhere else."
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