With a Pipeline of Deal Possibilities, a New Prez Joins a Liquid Alts Shop
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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

With a Pipeline of Deal Possibilities, a New Prez Joins a Liquid Alts Shop

A liquid alternatives and fixed income asset manager based in the Midwest has a new president, and he's on the hunt for acquisitions.

Gary Henson
Tortoise Investments
Gary Henson confirms that he just took over as president of Leawood, Kansas-based Tortoise Investments [profile]. Henson most recently served as president of Tortoise's indirect parent, Mariner Holdings, and as president and chief investment officer of Mariner's asset management arm, Montage Investments [profile].

Marty Bicknell, CEO of Mariner, will now serve as president, too. He praises Henson for playing "an absolutely vital role in the growth and success of Mariner" over the last nine years and adds that Tortoise is "gaining a true industry leader."

"Our goal at Mariner is to support our affiliates' long-term growth objectives in any way we can," Bicknell states.

Kevin Birzer, CEO and co-founder of Tortoise, states that Henson has already "played a key role in the growth and success of Tortoise."

The Tortoise holding company now includes three arms: Tortoise Capital Advisors, founded in 2002, which offers separate accounts, closed-end funds, and open-end mutual funds in the energy investing sector; Tortoise Index Solutions, which launched its first ETF in 2015; and Los Angeles-based Tortoise Credit Strategies, a fixed income shop formerly known as Bradford & Marzec that Tortoise bought earlier in 2016. Combined, the Tortoise family of companies has $19.4 billion in AUM as of August 31, 2016 and about 140 people on staff.

"I have an opportunity to help them build out a holding company ... My role is a combination of strategic planning, product development, and just kind of overall relationship building within the investment community," Henson tells MFWire, adding that he has no interest in "me-too type products."

Henson praises Birzer and the Tortoise team as "great people, great to work with." Overall, Henson says, the Tortoise family is "generally focused on essential asset and income-type strategies ... with really long-term, consistent returns and a buttoned-down process" and that's where his future M&A focus is, too.

"We actually have a pipeline of different opportunities that we're looking at right now," Henson says. "Size and geography aren't really the issue."

In terms of product development, Henson adds, the "very long-term play is to figure out clean energy and how to build the right investment vehicle for people to invest in that."

Henson is an alumnus of Westminster College, and he previously consulted for the Kansas State University Foundation. He joined Mariner in 2007.

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