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Rating:American Independence Takes a Unique Path to Find New PMs Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

American Independence Takes a Unique Path to Find New PMs

Reported by Chris Cumming

American Independence Funds [profile] has hired a new management team from the Idaho-based advisory firm Yellowstone Partners for its large cap value fund. The move is unusual as most fund firms would hire the managers under a sub-advisory contract, American Independence has brought on the three managers as company employees [SEC filing].

Eric Rubin, the founder and president of American Independence, told MFWire that in his firm's search for a new management team, they only considered ones who would agree to work as employees, rather than sub-advisors.

He insisted on this arrangement to better align the interests of the managers with the interests of the firm.

"There are plenty of good sub-advisors but they sub-advise several funds, and then you're competing against your own sub-advisor," he said. "Often a PM who sub-advises a fund will have some money invested in their fund, but really, the people who work and have equity here have more invested, and they really want the firm to do well."

The team will be headed by lead PM Richard Baird and will include David Hansen, CEO of Yellowstone, and John Christopher Jacobs, a yellowstone analyst. Eric Rubin, president of American Independence Funds, will stay on as a PM. The new management team will be employees of American Independence.

These three new managers will replace Jeffrey Miller, Ariel Fromer, and Tammy Miller, who have PMed the fund since 2007. Eric Rubin, founder and president of American Independence, told MFWire that these three are leaving the firm and joining Calamos Investments.

Rubin told MFWire that he made this change to get the fund back in the large cap value category, which had been the original focus of the fund. Under the current management team the fund had moved into the large cap core and finally the large cap growth sectors, as categorized by Morningstar and Lipper. Rubin chose the management team at Yellowstone over three other finalists.

In an interview with MFWire, Yellowstone president David Hansen said that his team is eager for the opportunity to manage the fund. "The American Independence fund has beaten the S&P twelve out of the last 13 years, and we hope that can continue. We're very excited."

American Independence Funds is a shop based in New York City with 16 actively managed funds comprising $1.6 billion in AUM. Yellowstone Partners is in investment-advisory firm based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with roughly $600 million in AUM, which manages three mutual funds, according to Hansen

Company Press Release

Rick Baird to assume management of American Independence Stock Fund

NEW YORK, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- American Independence Financial Services, LLC (American Independence), an independent investment manager based in New York, announced today that effective June 29, 2012 Richard "Rick" Baird would become principal portfolio manager for its Large Cap Value strategy, including the American Independence Stock Fund.

"The American Independence Stock Fund has produced impressive long term performance and our approach has made it one of the few large cap funds in the United States to have outperformed the S&P 500 Index for 12 of the past 13 years­. Three different teams of managers have achieved the American Independence record over this time period. We have had the great fortune to combine aptitude and achievement when we have made each change, and are confident that Rick and his team will continue the Fund's traditional record of best-in-class performance," said John Pileggi, Managing Partner of American Independence, and a member of the Fund's Board of Trustees for each of those 13 years. "Several major firms have included the Large Cap Value strategy on their platforms, and have come to trust American Independence to select the finest talent, which we believe Rick and his team represent."

Mr. Baird has a long and distinguished history of managing value mandates, and will be joined at American Independence by Chris Jacobs, as Assistant Portfolio Manager, along with Dave Hansen, CEO of Yellowstone Partners, LLC ("Yellowstone"). Mr. Hansen will continue management of over $600 million for Yellowstone, which is a registered investment advisory firm headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID.

Rick Baird has managed equity and fixed-income portfolios for high net-worth clients and mutual funds for over 25 years, including the value allocation of the Yellowstone Global All Cap Equity Strategy since 2009 and the Value Equity Strategy since 2011. Rick's background includes Senior Vice President of Zions Bank and Chief Investment Officer of the investment division of Western National Trust Company, the 6-state subsidiary of Zions. Earlier in his career, he was Vice President at Seafirst Bank in Seattle, where he chaired the Equity Strategy Committee; he also served as Vice President at First Security Investment Management where he managed fixed-income portfolios for foundations and the firm's funds. Rick managed the Achievement Municipal Bond Fund and was also manager of the Aquila Tax Free Fund for Utah. He founded Wind River Advisors LLC, an investment firm acquired by Yellowstone in 2009. Rick is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, as well as a past officer of the CFA Society of Salt Lake.

Chris Jacobs joined Yellowstone in the summer of 2010, and his responsibilities include utilizing sophisticated equity trading platforms while assisting in the management of multiple investment strategies. Chris also supports Rick Baird with equity research and analysis. Chris holds an undergraduate degree in business management with an emphasis in finance from Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is presently enrolled in the Masters of Banking and Financial Services Management program from Boston University. Shortly after 9/11, Chris joined the US Army Reserves. Having served in Afghanistan, Chris is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In addition to his role at American Independence, Dave Hansen is President and CEO of Yellowstone, and is responsible for the direction, future vision and leadership of this dynamic company. Dave has an extensive background of business management, portfolio asset management and equity analysis and has historically provided unique insights that create, build and manage wealth for clients.

The American Independence Stock Fund seeks to generate alpha through intensive fundamental research and opportunistic trading of portfolio holdings. It invests in fundamentally stable companies that generate strong sustainable free cash flows and those that trade at what the manager believes are discounted valuations.

About American Independence Financial Services, LLC

American Independence is an investment advisory firm registered with the SEC providing professional, actively managed investment advisory services to 16 American Independence Funds, including the NestEgg Target Date Funds, as well as separately managed accounts, aggregating $1.4 billion in assets under management. The firm is comprised of industry leaders with over 25 years of average industry tenure. To learn more about American Independence, visit www.americanindependence.com or call (646) 747-3477.

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