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Rating:An ETF Strategist Transforms Into an Expanding FinTech Firm Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, December 04, 2017

An ETF Strategist Transforms Into an Expanding FinTech Firm

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

An ETF strategist is transforming into a fintech firm that fundsters and others in the wealth management industry may team up with.

Paul Gamble, CEO of 55ip, confirms that the startup grew out of 55 Capital Partners. While 55 Capital Partners, whose founders included quant strategist Vinay Nair and ETF legend Lee Kranefuss, offered a suite of ETF-powered models and strategies powered by a proprietary investment platform, 55ip is all about helping broker-dealers and FAs build and customize their own models, and the company no longer distributes its own investment models. Now they can team up with asset managers, too. Meanwhile, watch for 55ip to add more people to its team soon.

"We're a fintech platform that allows advisors to deliver their own branded strategies," Gamble tells MFWire. "We've created this platform and these algorithms to help our institutional clients. We are not in the business of trying to create or sell our own strategies or products."

Gamble, who joined 55ip (then called 55 Institutional) in September, is open to teaming up with mutual fund shops and other asset managers.

"Insofar as asset management firms are looking to create models using their ETFs and funds, and we can help them to do that," Gamble says. "What we can bring to asset managers is the ability to truly create tax-efficient models at the client level."

When 55ip powers model portfolios built by other firms, the startup serves as subadvisor for those strategies.

55ip is privately held (with offices in Boston, Mumbai, and New York) and now has about 20 peoeple, including Nair who is still on board as chairman and founder. (Kranefuss, though he worked with 55 Capital Partners, is not involved with 55ip, Gamble says.) Gamble is working on expanding the 55ip team.

"One of my areas of focus coming in is building out our distribution and marketing functions," Gamble says. "We're going to expand rapidly."

In the meantime, watch for 55ip to team up with your various distribution platforms: broker-dealers, custodians, TAMPs. Indeed, they're already partnering with United Advisors and Vine Street Wealth Management.

"We can create branded strategies at the home office level," Gamble says. "Then we have a version of our software that can be used by the advisors. The permissions are controlled at the home office."

55ip's investment platform is modular, so their level of involvement will vary from B-D to B-D.

"We can help firms build strategies from scratch if they need to do that," Gamble says. "Or with larger firms with already build strategies or using third-party strategies, they can use our overlays to make them more efficient."

The 55ip platform is "open-architecture and unconstrained," Gamble says. "The technology-enabled investment platform allows advisors to build strategies for all of their clients in all accounts of any size. It allows advisors to create a customizable, branded, tax-managed strategy."

"We give the tools to the firm to express their view of investments through our platform," Gamble adds.

For ETF-powered models, the 55ip team curates the available ETFs for factors liquidity, cost, and more.

55ip's name has several different possible meanings, Gamble notes.

"We help advisory firms use building blocks to create portfolios. We are the power inside their portfolios," Gamble says. "We offer our intellectual property to help power the portfolios for their client. We are an institutional partner for our clients." 

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