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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

An NFL Alum Is Buying Into the ETF Biz

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

An entrepreneurial former NFL player is preparing to buy a $6.9-billion-AUM (as of February 28) ETF shop.

Yesterday, Casey Crawford (co-founder and CEO of Movement Mortgage), Vince Birley (CEO of Atlanta-based Vident [profile]) and Amrita Nandakumar (president of Vident) confirmed that Crawford has agreed to buy the business of Vident Advisory, LLC, Vident Investment Advisory, LLC, and Vident Financial, LLC. Vident is currently owned by the Vident Investors' Oversight Trust, and the proceeds of the sale will go to a to-be-named charity.

Pricing and terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed, and Vident is not working with an investment bank. Birley says they hope to complete the deal by sometime in the third quarter of 2023.

Vident currently has a team of 20 people, Birley confirms, and he expects the whole team to stay on after the deal. That includes Birley himself, Nandakumar, and Deborah Kimery (Vident's chief operations officer and chief financial officer).

"I have been impressed with what the team at Viden has built, and under their continued leadership I'm eager to see them take this exciting business, which operates in some of the most dynamic areas of asset management, to the next level," Crawford states.

Crawford (who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers as a tight end) is also expected to make "a significant growth equity investment" in Vident to fund the firm's growth. And the Vident business will be consolidated under a single brand and RIA, called Vident Asset Management. The firm currently offers its own ETFs, subadvise outside ETFs, and runs its own indexes.

"We're really excited about the momentum that we have," Birley tells MFWire.

Looking ahead, Birley sees the capital infusion helping the Vident to expand their offerings in several areas, including direct indexing, data and index services, and corporate engagement services.

"We will be investing aggressively in our trading and operational platform, our personnel, and several new business lines," Nandakumar states. 

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