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Rating:Fund Servicer Adds Wholesaling Help Not Rated 4.3 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, June 27, 2003

Fund Servicer Adds Wholesaling Help

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The fund firms that tap into the shareholder services capabilities of Commonwealth Shareholder Services are getting added distribution help. Commonwealth has enlisted Orion Capital Management to provide wholesaling support for the seven fund firms in its World Funds group.

Orion Capital Management is a Washington, D.C.-based third party marketing firm that specializes in placing capital with institutional investors. This is the first time that the firm will wholesale registered mutual funds.

John Pasco, III, chairman of Commonwealth Shareholder Services, said the wholesaling help will be a part of the services his firm offers funds along with underwriting, marketing, administrative and management services.

Orion Capital was originally formed as a private equity search firm that specialized in finding assets for institutional products. Its relationship with Commonwealth and the fund industry started in April when it converted its Lara Fund, a private-equity fund, into a registered mutual fund as part of an effort to grow the assets in the pool, explained David Baker, a partner at Orion Capital Management and manager for World Funds wholesaling.

Baker will act as a wholesaler for the 13 funds offered by the seven advisors. He said that he will leverage the relationships he built while calling on the "corner office brokers" in the Mid-Atlantic for the private-equity funds. Going forward he plans to broaden that focus and work with firms from across the country. He also plans to make separate account products offered by the seven advisors part of the story he takes to brokers.

Another task faced by Orion will be to refresh the selling agreements that the funds have with broker-dealers. Many of those agreements date to the mid-1990s and do not cover all of the share classes now offered by the funds.

There may also be additional clients in the cards. Baker said he is in talks with private asset managers that are considering adding registered products to their menu. One of those firms may act in the next 90 days, he added.  

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