Post-Acquisition, This ETF Strategist Is a Buyer
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Post-Acquisition, This ETF Strategist Is a Buyer

CLS Investments' [profile] parent is being sold, and after the deal CLS itself is going to be hunting for its own acquisitions.

On Monday Boston-based private equity player TA Associates unveiled a deal to buy Omaha-based NorthStar Financial Group, which owns CLS as well as Gemini Fund Services and several other companies. The deal will leave TA with a majority stake in NorthStar and the NorthStar companies' managers with a minority stake.

For CLS CEO Todd Clarke, the NorthStar sale means more dry powder in his hands to make deals. He's interested in other asset managers with unique strategies or distribution, as such a deal, he says, "would be a perfect tuck-in on the NorthStar platform" thanks to Gemini.

"The addition of TA isn't just capital to do acquisitions," Clarke tells MFWire. "It's also the addition of expertise on how to do acquisitions."
"We're also looking outside of just the traditional asset management companies," Clarke adds. "We're looking at some practice management companies."

Clarke might buy financial planning tools, or research and analytic tools, all for CLS' advisor allies.

"Everything we do is through the FA model, either independent broker-dealers or RIAs," Clarke says. "We want to make sure that those advisors have the tools that they need to be competitive in the marketplace as they're competing against wires and roboadvisors."

CLS is an ETF strategist that also offers its own mutual funds, the AdvisorOne funds.

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