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Rating:A 100-Year-Old AM Transforms a $146MM-AUM Fund Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, April 25, 2024

A 100-Year-Old AM Transforms a $146MM-AUM Fund

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The team at a New York City-based arm of a 100-year-old Swiss asset manager are launching a traditional, actively managed, U.S. open-end mutual fund by transforming a longstanding private fund.

Melissa Catherine Demcsik
Vontobel Asset Management US
On Monday, Melissa Demcsik, CEO of Vontobel's U.S. arm and head of product management in the Americas, and José Luis Ezcurra, head of institutional clients in the Americas, unveiled the launch of the mutual fund version of the Vontobel International Equity Fund. The new fund replaces a similarly named private fund that, according to the past performance records in the prospectus, had been around for at least a decade or so.

The revamped Vontobel International Equity Fund is a series of the Advisors' Inner Circle Fund II, and the acquisition of the predecessor fund's assets took effect on Monday. The mutual fund comes in three flavors: A shares (VNIAX), with an expense ratio of 100 basis points; Y shares (VNIYX), with a 75bps expense ratio; and institutional shares (VNIIX), with a 60bps expense ratio.

All three share classes' expense ratios bake in a 39bps fee waiver promised through April 30, 2026. The prospectus reveals that the institutional shares' fees are lower than those of the predecessor fund, though the predecessor funds' fees were lower than those of the new fund's A and Y shares.

Vontobel Asset Management, Inc. serves as investment advisor to the new Vontobel International Equity Fund. The PM team includes: Matthew Benkendorff, managing director and chief investment officer of Vontobel's quality growth team; Daniel Kranson, portfolio manager and executive director; and David Souccar, lead PM and executive director.

Benkendorf highlights "the impressive 33-year track record" of Vontobel's "Quality Growth International Equity Strategy." Souccar adds that "international markets are a fertile ground for active management."

"By providing access to high-quality international stocks, we are providing a vehicle that allows US investors to expand their opportunity set and aims to improve the quality and returns of their portfolios," Souccar states.

"We are taking a meaningful step forward in expanding our US intermediary business and delivering on our commitment to accelerate growth in the region," Ezcurra states. "For years, Vontobel has partnered with US institutions to meet their investment goals, and now we are able to provide mutual funds to intermediary clients, as well as streamlined and tailored service and competitive fees."

Demcsik puts the launch of the new mutual fund in the context of an expansion of Vontbel's "direct distribution strategy."

"Vontobel continues to optimize not only our product suite, but also the client experience we offer," Demcsik states. "By collaborating with SEI, we will be able to provide investors a single, seamless point of access to a range of Vontobel products and services to serve their specific investment needs."

The Vontobel International Equity Fund's other service providers include: Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. as custodian; Ernst & Young LLP, independent accounting firm (to both the new and predecessor funds); Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP as counsel; SEI Investments Distribution Co. as distributor and principal underwriter; SEI Investments Global Funds Services as administrator; and SS&C Global Investor & Distribution Solutions, Inc. as dividend disbursing agent and transfer agent. 

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