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Monday, May 23, 2011

Astor Preps a Pair of Mutual Funds

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Astor Asset Management [see profile], a Chicago-based firm that specializes in building portfolios of exchange-traded funds, is gearing up to launch two mutual funds. The upcoming products, Astor Active Income ETF Fund and Astor Style Preferred Growth ETF Fund, are based on investment strategies the company uses in its separately managed accounts. [SEC filing]

Aside from separate accounts, the firm currently offers one mutual fund, the Astor Long/Short ETF Fund, which launched in October 2009. The fund has AUM of $39.8 million, according to Morningstar.

Astor, founded by former Federal Reserve analyst Robert Stein in 1994, was acquired by Jersey City, New Jersey-based Knight Capital Group last year. Company-wide AUM surpassed $1-billion mark last week, according to an Astor press release.
Knight Announces Astor Asset Management Crosses $1 Billion AUM

Astor to introduce mutual funds based on investment strategies in certain separately managed accounts

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 19, 2011 -- Knight Capital Group, Inc. (NYSE Euronext: KCG) today announced that subsidiary Astor Asset Management crossed $1 billion in assets under management.

Astor specializes in constructing portfolios by investing in exchange-traded funds based on a macroeconomic approach. Astor's actively managed portfolio of ETFs are designed with the goal of protecting and growing capital over time at an attractive absolute compounded return, without the performance fees and lock-up periods of hedge funds. These portfolios of ETFs are offered through financial advisors within separately managed accounts and through a mutual fund, the Astor Long/Short ETF Fund (I Share: ASTIX; R Share: ASTRX; C Share: ASTZX).

"Astor's steady asset growth reflects advisor and investor recognition for our approach to long-term capital appreciation across market cycles," said Robert N. Stein, Astor's founder and Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Asset Management at Knight. "I believe that this milestone is a testament to the strength of our investment philosophy and the talent of the Astor team."

Mr. Stein began his career at the Federal Reserve under Paul Volcker and held senior trading and portfolio management positions before founding Astor in 1994. Since Knight acquired Astor in October 2010, assets under management have increased approximately 50%.

Astor is among the top money managers by ETF assets under management according to a third party industry report, and a top investor in certain ETFs, according SEC filings. Astor is preparing to launch two new mutual funds based on investment strategies utilized in its separately managed accounts, including Style Preferred Growth and Active Income. Astor recently gained access to additional distribution platforms and is available through most national broker-dealer networks.

For more information about Astor Asset Management, please visit www.astorllc.com or call 800-899-8230.

About Knight

Knight Capital Group (NYSE Euronext: KCG) is a global financial services firm that provides access to the capital markets across multiple asset classes to a broad network of clients, including buy- and sell-side firms and corporations. Knight is headquartered in Jersey City, N.J. with a growing global presence across the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. For further information about Knight, please visit www.knight.com.

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