David Bechtel, principal at the Stamford, Conn.-based Barrow Street Advisors, is that rare former hedge fund manager who feels like he can breath easier in mutual fund territory compared to life in LLP-land.
When he and his colleagues, fellow principals Nicholas Chermayeff and Robert Greenhill, transformed their all-core and long/short strategies to the Barrow All-Cap Core Fund (BALIX, BALAX) and the Barrow All-Cap Long/Short Fund (BFSLX, BFLSX) in August, they found these strategies enjoyed better marketing advantages due to '40 Act Country's stringent transparency rules.
Bechtel described the benefits in this way:
Both strategies are based on investing in U.S. securities. We don't use derivatives. We only look for liquid common stocks that are easy to track, easy to price and are liquid. Having these strategies in a limited liability partnership really obscured some of the benefits of having such a liquid and transparent strategy. Having a '40 Act vehicle really was the best vessel for hosting these strategies.
The transition paths of the two funds were a little different, though, Bechtel noted. Barrow was able to directly transform the All Core strategy into a mutual fund, the Top 1 Percentile performance figures, according to Bloomberg, for the strategy, which generated 29.17% performance in the past year and 20.76% in the past three years.
For the Long/Short strategy, the hedge fund vehicle was terminated on August 30, the same day that the new mutual fund version was launched. This took place for a variety of considerations, Bechtel explained. Nonetheless, the performance figures for the strategy are included in the prospectus.
All three principals carefully nurtured the strategies since 2008, primarily with their own money, before the mutual fund launches.
"We wanted to make sure we knew how to do a really good job before inviting other investors along for the ride," Bechtel said.
Now that they are in '40 Act Country, the three are carefully moving to build up their sales and distribution.
They went live on Schwab's platform just two weeks ago and plan to hire some sales folk next year. They will expand onto other platforms as the demand merits it, Bechtel said.
They are also working now to bolster awareness among financial advisors and other professionals who advise others on portfolio allocations, RIAs, private wealth management shops as well as foundations, endowments and trusts.
"We're having great discussions with these folks," Bechtel said.
Here is the press release on the fund launches.
Company Press Release
Barrow Street Advisors Launches its First Mutual Funds
Conversion of Existing Strategy Provides Investors with Proven Track Record
October 31, 2013 –Stamford, CT – Barrow Street Advisors LLC (Barrow) announced the launch of the Barrow All-Cap Core Fund (BALIX, BALAX) and the Barrow All-Cap Long/Short Fund (BFSLX, BFLSX), the first mutual fund offerings for the investment advisor.
The Barrow All-Cap Core Fund is the successor to Barrow Street’s flagship U.S. equity offering, Barrow Street Fund LP. This limited partnership had only been available to accredited investors since its formation in 2008. Barrow Street organized the Barrow All-Cap Long/Short Fund to succeed a private limited partnership managed using the Advisor’s Long/Short strategy. Now a broad range of investors can enjoy access to both of these strategies through registered, no-load investment funds.
The Funds are managed by the firm’s co-founders, Nicholas Chermayeff and Robert F. Greenhill, Jr. Prior to forming Barrow Street, Mr. Chermayeff was an investment professional in Morgan Stanley’s Principal Investment Group for the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds and Mr. Greenhill was an investment professional for the Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Funds.
“We formed our mutual funds to offer investors of all sizes access to our investment strategies,” said David R. Bechtel, a Principal at Barrow. “Our distribution focus for the Funds will be the Financial Advisor, Family Office, and Trust channels.”
Each Fund employs Barrow Street’s proprietary Systematic Quality Value (SQV) approach, which assesses a company’s relative quality and value based on key fundamental factors. Utilizing disciplined portfolio construction techniques, the SQV approach aims to mitigate risk through diversification across companies, market capitalizations, and industry sectors. Barrow’s Long/Short strategy follows the same approach with its long positions, and further seeks to reduce volatility and attempts to preserve capital during market downturns by shorting stocks which Barrow believes are of low quality and poor value.
“We believe that systematic investment in high quality companies where there is a large Margin of Safety† has the potential to generate above-average returns with below-average risk,” said Mr. Chermayeff. “With almost five years of performance data behind it, investors can evaluate how the Barrow All-Cap Core Fund’s track record and investment process stack up against the competition. I think they’ll be impressed.”
The Barrow All-Cap Core Fund is ranked in the Top 1% for 3-Year performance by Bloomberg for the three years ending 10/24/13. The ranking is based on total returns for Bloomberg’s “Value Broad Market” peer group that consists of 588 funds.
“We do not try to time the market or use cash defensively,” Mr. Greenhill added. “Since our approach avoids emotional responses to market volatility, we believe these funds may be a smart choice for an investor’s long-term portfolio.”
About Barrow Street Advisors LLC
The Barrow Funds are managed by Barrow Street Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Barrow Street Capital LLC, an investment firm founded in 1997 by Nicholas Chermayeff and Robert F. Greenhill, Jr.
Since inception Barrow Street’s affiliates have invested approximately $550 million of equity in private equity and public equity strategies. In addition to the Funds, the firm serves pension funds, sovereign funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, and high net worth individuals.
Barrow All-Cap Core Fund Performance as of 9/30/2013
Average Annualized Total Returns* YTD 1 Year 3 Year Since Inception (12/31/08) Barrow All-Cap Core Fund - Institutional Class 24.90% 29.17% 20.76% 20.44% Barrow All-Cap Core Fund - Investor Class 24.90 29.17 20.76 20.44 S&P 500 Index 19.79 19.34 16.27 16.49 Net Expense Ratio after Waivers** Institutional Class 1.16%, Investor Class 1.41% Gross Expense Ratio Institutional Class 1.40%, Investor Class 1.67% Please see Important Information below for additional information.
Performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth less than the original cost. Current performance of the Fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Performance data current to the most recent month end is available by calling 877-767-6633.
In addition to large cap companies, the All-Cap Core Fund invests in small and mid cap companies, which involves additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility.
*The returns of the All-Cap Core Fund shown for periods prior to its inception date are the returns of the predecessor, the Barrow Street Fund LP, an unregistered limited partnership managed by the portfolio managers of the Barrow All-Cap Core Fund (the “Predecessor Private Fund”). The Predecessor Private Fund was reorganized into the Institutional Class shares on August 30, 2013, the date that the All-Cap Core Fund commenced operations. The All-Cap Core Fund has been managed in the same style and by the same portfolio managers since the Predecessor Private Fund’s inception on December 31, 2008. The All-Cap Core Fund’s investment goals, policies, guidelines and restrictions are, in all material respects, equivalent to the Predecessor Private Fund’s investment goals, policies, guidelines and restrictions. The information shows the Predecessor Private Fund’s annual returns and long-term performance reflecting the actual fees and expenses that were charged when the All-Cap Core Fund was a limited partnership. The prior performance is net of management fees and other expenses but does not include the effect of the performance fee which was in place until October 7, 2012. From its inception on December 31, 2008 through the date of this prospectus, the Predecessor Private Fund was not subject to certain investment restrictions, diversification requirements and other restrictions of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) or Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which, if they had been applicable, might have adversely affected the All-Cap Core Fund’s performance. The information below provides some indications of the risks of investing in the All-Cap Core Fund.
**Barrow Street Advisors LLC (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed, until October 1, 2016, to waive Management Fees and reimburse Other Expenses to the extent necessary to limit total annual fund operating expenses (exclusive of various fees and expenses including acquired fund fees and expenses) to an amount not exceeding 1.40% and 1.15% of Investor Class and Institutional Class shares for the All-Cap Core Fund and 1.99% and 1.74% of Investor Class and Institutional Class shares for the All-Cap Long/Short Fund respectively, of average daily net assets. Management Fee waivers and expense reimbursements by the Adviser are subject to repayment by the All- Cap Core Fund for a period of three years after such fees and expenses were incurred, provided that the repayments do not cause Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses to exceed the foregoing expense limitations. Prior toOctober 1, 2016, this agreement may not be modified or terminated without the approval of the Board of Trustees. This agreement will terminate automatically if the All-Cap Core Fund’s investment advisory agreement with the Adviser is terminated.
The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of equity prices and is representative of a broader market and range of securities than is found in the Fund’s portfolio. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.
Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. The Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the Fund and may be obtained by calling 1-877-767-6633. Distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC.