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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Schroders' Sims Preps for the Next Wave

Reported by Anastasia Donde

The North American arm of U.K. asset manager Schroders is making more hires in both its distribution and investment management departments to better support its existing and targeted growth on this side of the Atlantic.

W. McCarter Sims
Head of Intermediary Distribution
Carter Sims, Schroders' head of intermediary distribution, is interviewing for one internal wholesaler position and another mid- to senior-level person to cover key regional accounts and TAMPs. He currently has 37 people on his team and also wants to get the wholesaler to account ratio to 1:1 eventually. It's at about 1:2 right now.

Many of the firm's U.S. mutual funds now have decent track records, with the first few having launched back in 2006, and Schroders is looking to ramp up their growth. There is about $3.2 billion across 13 funds right now, with two more in the works. These are the Global Strategic Bond fund and the Global Multi Asset Income, both of which have been filed with the SEC and are set to launch in June. Its existing funds include a range of U.S., global, international and emerging market equity strategies, as well as several fixed-income offerings and one absolute return fund.

The firm is targeting growing its mutual fund business to $20 billion in the next five years, Sims said. Many of its funds are now well represented on the wirehouse platforms of Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, as well as the custodial platforms of Fidelity and TD, among others. Sims said the firm also has relationships with many of the prominent RIAs and plans to continue targeting these channels.

Schroders has been using a tech tool to better target who to market to. The app uses market metrics data and behavioral analytics to figure out which clients and channels Schroders should pursue. "It really takes us from a spotlight to a flashlight," Sims said. The firm has been using this marketing tool, Lattice Engines, for about a year. The company had started out with mostly a focus on consumer products and technology, but has lately been picking up more financial firms as clients. Some of the other ones include Calamos Investments, SunTrust and Bank of America, according to the company's website.

Schroders has also recently added Marc Mayer as head of institutional distribution for North America, a new position. Alex Tedder also came on board as head of global equities, replacing Virginie Maisonneuve who moved to PIMCO to head up equities last fall. And Dennis Parisien joined as portfolio manager and member of the emerging market debt team, replacing Chris Tackney, who left to pursue other interests.

Mayer was previously CEO of GMO, Parisien worked at Deutsche Bank Securities as Head of Emerging Market Corporate Debt Research and Strategy and Tedder was Co-Head of Global and Non-U.S. Large-Cap Strategies at American Century Investments.

Schroders has $17 billion in intermediary assets under management, including both onshore and offshore accounts. Its total global assets are at $446.7 billion, which is about double the size from five years prior. 

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