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Rating:You Wouldn't Believe Who's Jumping into Alts Not Rated 4.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 21, 2014

You Wouldn't Believe Who's Jumping into Alts

Reported by Anastasia Donde

If you're an alternatives firm looking to get into the retail market and haven't yet found a distribution partner, Kansas-based American Century Investments, could be one option. The firm is looking to form an alternatives partnership, according to sources familiar with American Century, and has already been in talks with some alts shops.

Peter Cieszko, American Century's chief client officer for the Americas, is behind the effort and people familiar with the firm said this would make sense, as American Century is, so far, under-represented in the alternatives category. The firm has $142 billion assets under management in a variety of stock and bond funds.

The foray into alternatives represents a bold new move for American Century, whose founder, James Stowers, passed away last month. For years, the firm had been stalwartly conservative in its offerings.

"They're a big, established, well-branded firm, it'd make sense for them to do that if they can find the right partner," said one industry executive.

Many other alternatives firms have been forming distribution partnerships with big retail shops. K2 Advisors is partnering with its new parent firm Franklin Templeton Investments, Rock Creek Group is planning to tap new parent, Wells Fargo, for retail distribution and Aurora Investment Management is joining forces with Natixis Global Asset Management, among many others.

It's not yet clear whether American Century would acquire a firm to do this or just form a distribution partnership. Cieszko and spokespeople at the firm did not return calls seeking comment.


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