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Rating:This Chitown Fund Firm's Expansion Plans Are Mutual-Fund-Free, For Now Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, November 11, 2016

This Chitown Fund Firm's Expansion Plans Are Mutual-Fund-Free, For Now

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

This Midwestern mutual fund shop's chief is working on new products and new hires, but more open-end mutual fund shops are not in the cards for now.

Brian Schmucker
"I could see us launching subsequent vehicles, perhaps another interval fund," Brian Schmucker, CEO of Chicago-based RiverNorth [profile], tells MFWire. "On the private front we could do the same thing ... There's a lot of runway and a tremendous amount of interest."

"That's not to say we won't launch another mutual fund, but not in the near future," Schmucker adds.

In September RiverNorth launch a closed-end fund focused on marketplace lending. And Schmucker sees more opportunity in that space and is staffing up accordingly.

"Most of our hires within the next six months will be marketplace lending hires," Schmucker says.

Schmucker sees opportunity in the municipal bond CEF space, too, and he might be willing to partner with an outside asset manager.

On the distribution side, Schmucker is not eager to ramp up distribution.

"At the end of the day, less is more," Schmucker says. "I won't ever want to be a marketing firm."

"We will never have some large distribution force with a bunch of wholesalers," Schmucker adds. "I could see us build it out a bit."

On the strategic front, RiverNorth already has alliances with DoubleLine and OakTree, and Schmucker says he'd be open to more partnerships "if the right strategic relationship came along."

"We are very entrepreneurial. We are very flexible," Schmucker says. "What we're not going to be is all things to all people."

The 15-year-old firm now has about $3.6 billion in AUM and 25 employees. Eight of those employees own the bulk of the firm, while one outside investor owns a small stake, too. 

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