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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chuck Baldiswieler Covers All the Bases

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

It's been a busy 2014 so far for Chuck Baldiswieler, president of Angel Oak.

The former TCW Funds chief, who joined Angel Oak at the end of 2013, has helped the structured finance specialist build out its sales force, develop new products, court platforms as well as prepare to grow into its own fund complex. And that's not all they've been up to. The firm has reached $4 billion and has seen flows jump 30 percent year-over-year.

"It's been a busy 150-days," he recently told MFWire. "Some people go on diets."

Angel Oak currently manages one fund, the Angel Oak Multi-Strategy Income Fund, which has roughly $2.6 billion in AUM and will cross over the three-year mark in June.

However, the firm will register another product before the end of the summer and a third likely by the end of the year. All of the products, Baldiswieler said, will be structured finance products.

Also, the firm has restructured its sales force, moving away from the channelized approach. The firm now has six wholesalers that cover the RIAs and retail, and one sales person on the institutional side. The firm also has two people working on key accounts.

Meanwhile, Baldiswieler and his team are working to grow ties to the institutional side, getting the mutual fund onto consultant databases.

He and his team are also aggressively courting the platforms. Their mutual fund is currently on Wells Fargo, UBS and Merrill Lynch.

"Literally, just before I talked to you, I was on the phone with a broker dealer, talking to them about getting on their select list," he said.

Angel Oak, which currently offers its mutual fund as part of a series trust, is preparing to graduate to its own fund complex in anticipation of its three product lineup in 2015.

Meanwhile, Baldiswieler and his colleagues are in talks with some fund firms to possibly hire them as sub-advisors for certain sleeves in its new funds.

At the same time, the firm is also looking to serve as a sub-advisor to other funds.

They are also looking to do some PM lift-outs and, also launch a new hedge fund.

"Our goal is to diversify by client type and by strategy. Some firms fall into the trap of being all retail. We don't want that. We want a nice mix between retail and institutional. We are going to continue to expand on both the investment and sales sides," he said.  

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