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Rating:With One Deal, a $25B Fund Firm Buys Into the US In Two Ways Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

With One Deal, a $25B Fund Firm Buys Into the US In Two Ways

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A publicly-traded, Canadian mutual fund shop just bought its way into two parts of the U.S. business with one deal.

Blake Goldring
AGF Management
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Last week AGF Management Limited chairman and CEO Blake Goldring confirmed that the Toronto-based asset manager has acquired a majority stake in Boston-based FFCM [profile], an ETF strategist that also offers its own suite of ETFs, QuantShares. FFCM has about C$1.3 billion (about $980 million) in AUM. Watch for AGF to reach into the U.S., even as FFCM reaches into Canada.

"This strategic acquisition strengthens our core competency in developing and managing quantitative solutions," Goldring states. "This reinforces AGF's commitment to offering innovative solutions that focus on risk mitigation, while offering active market participation."

"The addition of the team at FFCM provides AGF with a solid platform from which to develop investment solutions designed to manage volatility and deliver more consistent, repeatable results," states Kevin McCreadie, president and chief investment officer of AGF Investments. "Furthermore, this acquisition will allow us to grow our U.S. distribution capabilities."

"Partnering with AGF will allow us to grow our research, marketing and product development capabilities," states Bill Carey, CEO of FFCM. "We are excited about bringing our ETF expertise and dynamic platform to the Canadian marketplace."

The deal comes less than three months after Goldring unveiled a strategic partnership between AGF and FFCM. Under that alliance, FFCM and London, Ontario-based AGF subsidiary Highstreet Asset Management took over "portfolio advisor duties" for what is now called the AGF U.S. Sector Class Fund. The fund had been called the AGF U.S. AlphaSector Class Fund and had been powered by another ETF strategist, F-Squared, which declared bankruptcy this summer and sold shortly thereafter thanks to a scandal over performance reporting.

Bill DeRoche, chief investment officer and PM at FFCM, founded the boutique in 2010, and created QuantShares in 2011, after leading the U.S. enhanced equities team at SSgA. He also worked as a quant PM at Putnam and is an alumnus of the U.S. Naval Academy and Dartmouth.

Carey is a retirement and mutual fund industry who previously held top positions at Fidelity, BofA, and OpFunds. He spent two-years launching the retirement division at none other than F-Squared before taking over FFCM in September 2013 and is an alumnus of Bates.

Back in 2013, before Carey came on board, FFCM hired asset management-focused investment bank Berkshire Capital to find a strategic partner to help distribute and market QuantShares.

In Canada AGF offers its own mutual funds, mutual fund wrap programs, and more. It has about C$33 billion (about $25 billion) in AUM and a current market cap of about C$425 million (about $320 million). It has an institutional business development office in Boston, as well as offices in Beijing, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, and Singapore (as well in Canada in Calgary, London, Toronto, and Vancouver). 

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