A $78.7B Shop's Distro Chief Plans Channel Diversification
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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A $78.7B Shop's Distro Chief Plans Channel Diversification

The distribution chief for a $78.7-billion AUM asset manager is preparing to push deeper into multiple channels.

"What we're looking to do over time is to diversify that mix further into the defined contribution-only space, insurance, institutional, and RIA," says Amy Scupham, the new president of Waddell & Reed's Ivy Distributors, Inc. (IDI) [profile] arm. "And so, what we're doing from a distribution standpoint is trying to better define what exactly those are, and how you approach the different marketplaces and the different client needs in each of those marketplace."

Scupham shared that tidbit on the Overland Park, Kansas-based broker-dealer's Q2 2018 earnings call last Tuesday, as transcribed by SeekingAlpha. Scupham was answering a question from Macrae Sykes, an analyst at Gabelli & Company.

Ivy's distribution is currently dominated by a single channel, Scupham says.

"Right now, our channel mix is heavily weighted to our national sale," Scupham told Sykes on the call. "And so, we look at about 80 percent to 85 percent of our sales coming in that broker-dealer national channel wholesale."

Meanwhile, Waddell's chief is downplaying talk of expanding further through M&A.

"I think any outright acquisition is likely to be relatively modest and something that we can integrate," Phil Sanders, CEO of Waddell, said on the call when fielding a question from Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Cyprys. "We feel like we have a lot of things we're working on internally and we're focused. And so, we're not likely to be taking on kind of a wounded type of situation where we have a lot of management distractions. I think it'll be more of a kind of a bolt-on or something with a clean strategy that would benefit through our distribution channels perhaps."

Sanders did leave the door open to "incremental acquisitions."

That same day, Waddell reported Q2 2018 net income of $0.55 per diluted share, beating expectations by $0.07, and revenue of $295.34 million, beating expectations by $6.18 million. Waddell had $78.7 billion in AUM on June 30, 2018, down two percent both from the previous quarter and year-over-year.

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