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Rating:Nationwide Eyes Fund Adoptions and Acquisitions Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nationwide Eyes Fund Adoptions and Acquisitions

Reported by Anastasia Donde

Nationwide is on your side. Don't you want to be on theirs?

Timothy Rooney
Head of Product Management & Research
Nationwide Funds, the mutual fund group of the insurer, is looking to expand its product line-up via fund adoptions or acquisitions. Timothy Rooney, the firm's head of product management and research, said investor focus has been shifting away from traditional U.S. equities and towards global approaches, alternative strategies and multi-asset offerings, so Nationwide is scoping out offerings in that area.

Rooney said he's currently reviewing two potential fund adoption deals that look very attractive and that the firm might close a deal in the next three-to-six months, although he couldn't share the details yet. Nationwide will still be open to more acquisitions and adoptions down the line.

In fact, the firm hired Amy Duling in January as head of product development, a new position, specifically to work on this effort. She was previously senior vice president and chief compliance offer at Scotia Institutional Investments US and has previously worked at Constellation Funds Group and Turner Investment Partners.

"A large part of Amy's role is continuing to grow the business," Rooney said. She's focused on bringing on more of the multi-asset class and alternative solutions and Rooney expects these areas to experience the largest growth going forward across the asset management industry.

Nationwide manages $57 billion across 116 funds and Rooney said the firm has been less known for its capabilities there and more for its variable annuity, retirement and lifecycle funds services.

"We put together a team in 2012 to help promote our mutual fund capabilities and educate advisors on our retail funds lineup," Rooney said. He noted that Nationwide was actually the first insurer to get into the mutual fund business back in 1933. All the firm's funds are sub-advised and Rooney noted that 71 percent of the sub-advisors are outperforming their Morningstar peer averages.

Nationwide put an institutional style sub-advisory model in place a few years ago that involves a thorough selection, due diligence, operations and monitoring process. Rooney couldn't name a specific target for growing the mutual fund business, but said he'd like to eventually see the firm get into the Top 50 of U.S. asset management companies by AUM. The firm acquired 17 funds from Highmark Capital Management last year and had also previously brought on funds from UBS and Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley.

Bonus points: like the famous Nationwide window logo, the firm's business cards have "window" holes in them, so if you work for Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide, you can twirl your business cards around your fingers or hang them on your key chains.  

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