Eight former staff members of Ibbotson Associates
have joined Mesirow Financial
, a Chicago-based consulting services firm, where they will head up a multifaceted investment strategies business centered on their combined experience in fund selection and analysis.
The venture has something for almost every market, including fund companies, broker-dealers, insurance providers and 401(k) plans. In terms of sub-advisory services, the focus is on advanced evaluations that account for performance.
"Our differentiating factor is that we are positioning our services as a little bit more flexible, in that we could allocate to funds that are not necessarily style-specific or style-consistent," said Mark Kowalczyck
, who along with Michael Annin
will lead the new Mesirow business, speaking to the MFWire
Most fund families have some anomalous funds that don't always fit well into other evaluative methodologies, Kowalczyck said. "Our precision alpha process really takes those funds and allows us to [recognize] managers for good performance, and we can allocate to them and still maintain the stability and the characteristics of an overall asset allocation portfolio," he explained.
Working with fund companies, he said, Mesirow will be able to develop fund of fund products based on performance as well as risk/return characteristics.
In addition to Kowalczyck and Annin, the other former Ibbotson staffers migrated to Mesirow are Christopher O'Neill
, Scott Majeski
, Christopher Anast
, Brian Nash
, Jonathon Dues
, and Janis Zvingelis
The investment strategies business seeks to expand Mesirow's quantitative fund selection and asset allocation capabilities, said an announcement, and will develop "proprietary asset allocation research, sub-advisory services, fund selection, investment strategy and consulting capabilities" for institutional investors.
Kowalczyck and Annin said their team includes both the new imports and staff members who were already at Mesirow. Mesirow's staff "really have a lot of depth in terms of research capabilities and fund selection, and our team is growing," Kowalczyck affirmed.
"We believe there's room for everybody in this space right now and we see our niche as being finding those funds that add value that are not necessarily style-specific ... to get a little bit more dynamic with portfolios," he said.
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