Tom Florence's 361 Capital
is preparing an assault force for the alternative investments space.
Just ask Josh Vail
, Florence's national investment specialist. To us, that means he is 361's national sales manager and head of investment marketing, but Florence's firm uses the "investment specialist" moniker (their wholesalers are "regional investment specialists") for all its sales folks to remind them of their consultative focus.
"All of our regional wholesalers, they are all investment specialists. Regional investment specialists. The firm takes a consultative approach. That is the reason for the title differences," Vail recently told MFWire
And there will be more of them. Vail declined to go into specifics, but he said that his firm's sales organization will "almost double" within a year. The first of these planned hires will be in national accounts.
The sales team growth is necessary for supporting 361's booming product development, according to Vail. The firm entered this year with two funds, launching two more year-to-date with plans to launch one more before 2014 ends. Among this year's launches was the June/July unveiling of the 361 Global Managed Futures Strategy Fund
helmed by Janus-alum Blaine Rollins
Vail is the man to lead these efforts. He started with 361 in October, 2010 as a wholesaler and was promoted prior to the December 2011 launch of the firm's flagship 361 Managed Futures Strategy Fund
. As of March 31, the fund had assets of $611 million, having grown by almost 300 percent in 2013 as well as experiencing first quarter inflows of $121 million.
"The product availability is growing and we think advisors will be able to build portfolios in a more sophisticated way," he said.
Vail described the sweet spot for these funds as advisors running discretionary asset models who "understand the need of alternatives, that understand the benefit of reduced volatility and low allocation type assets."
"There are advisors that are looking to gain that exposure through vehicles that are liquid and lower cost, with greater transparency as an alternative to the hedge fund world," he said.
Currently, 361's products are on a number of major platforms, including TD, Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing. Only the Managed Futures Strategy
fund is on UBS and LPL.
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