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Friday, July 11, 2014

Aspiring Fundster? Then Answer These Nine Questions

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

Entering the '40 Act space is hard. It requires you to address a host of challenges far beyond just simple portfolio management. The scary thing is plenty of dozens of firms each year enter the space, while dozens of others leave.

In order to help aspiring fundsters to decide whether they really want to enter the space, SEI's Ross Ellis, who is the firm's vice president and managing director for Knowledge Partnership in the Investment Manager Services department, and Jonathan Dale, director of distribution, are putting together a set of nine questions.

The goal of this set of nine questions is to force aspiring fundsters to address the most critical challenges involved with entering the '40 Act space to help them decide whether they really want to do this, and if so, how to do so.

The questions, slated for completion this summer, will quiz aspiring fundsters on such considerations as target investor market, product packaging and distribution channel among other things.

"We want executives to come through this consideration tree and decide on a particular vehicle for what they want to do, or make them rethink this," Dale recently told MFWire.

Sometimes, Dale said, "it is a good thing that a manager doesn't do anything. They go through this thought-process and realize, 'this is not the market for me.' There is actually a benefit to this, in a strange way. If we can help reduce the number of bad products out there, that helps all of us."

Ross and Dale are developing this three-page questionnaire from a similar set of considerations they had originally developed for foreign firms interested in entering the U.S. market.

"We were trying to build a thought-process for over seas firms who wanted to get into the U.S. We found there were a lot of people who thought 'Oh, I have this fund strategy, I'll just got to America.' We wanted to provide some basis for their thinking processes to come to the U.S. Here are some things you need to think about, in this order," Ross said.

The questions will be available free to anyone, and can be accessed from SEI's website. It also will be presented to the press to publicize. "This is not just for our clients. This is basically missionary work. We want anyone and everyone to have access to this," Ross said. 

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