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Rating:Knight Buys its Way into Mutual Funds Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, July 26, 2010

Knight Buys its Way into Mutual Funds

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Knight Capital Group has bought its way into the mutual fund industry. The firm purchased Astor Asset Management for $20 million in cash and stock. Astor is a specialist in macro-economic strategy and ETF portfolio construction. Astor launched Astor Long/Short ETF Mutual Fund (ASTIX), its first mutual fund, last November.

According to its latest N-Q filing, the fund had $9.1 million in AUM at the end of April.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and Astor Asset Management, LLC will operate as a wholly-owned operating subsidiary of Knight Capital Group. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and K&L Gates LLP advised Knight while Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP and Thompson Hine LLP acted as advisors to Astor Asset Management.

Pointing to Astor's recent growth in Astor's separate accounts and its new mutual fund, Knight Capital CEO Thomas M. Joyce says that his firm "can help Astor get to the next level while creating a foundation for asset management that contributes stable, recurring revenues to Knight."

"Astor Asset Management has undergone rapid growth by providing active management and diversification across sectors and asset classes at a relatively low expense ratio using ETFs," added Joyce.

Robert N. Stein founded Chicago-based Astor in 2001. The firm has since grown to 13 employees and approximately $560 million in assets under management.

Knight signed Stein to a four-year employment contract to keep him on board.

"I'm excited by the growth potential for Astor as a part of Knight, considering the firm's longstanding relationships with the leading wirehouses and broker-dealers," said Stein. "Backed by the resources and infrastructure of Knight, I believe we'll be able to provide an even higher level of client service while adding to the product offering. My colleagues at Astor and I look forward to continued success at Knight." 

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