Don't be surprised if you bump into Robert Stockton
on the road this year, a lot, talking about alternatives.
Stockton is director of investor relations for Visium Asset Management
, an alts firm which entered '40 Act Country in August 2013
with the Visium Event Driven Fund
Now that the fund has hit its first-year milestone, Stockton and his colleagues, with the help of the fund marketing and sales firm Harborside Group
, are gearing up for a major education campaign.
This campaign, now entering its third phase, has initially been focused on raising awareness of Visium, and then about the virtues of the fund.
"It has been fun. It has been challenging, everything you really expect when entering a new space. We started with a more traditional hedge fund, went through the conversion process last year to create this '40 Act product. The way we looked at it, we knew that we were entering into a whole new branch of the marketplace. This was not a name that people were readily aware of, at least in the '40 Act space. People know us instead through alternatives or hedge funds and healthcare," Stockton recently told MFWire
During the first phase, Visium focused on positioning the fund amongst RIAs and financial advisors via such means as email campaigns. Their sweet spot, currently, is RIAs between $250 million and $1 billion under management, according to Stockton.
The second phase, in part, has involved more intensive investment messaging to those RIAs that have expressed interest. Stockton and his colleagues have also been aggressively courting fund platforms.
These efforts have already paid off. The fund is now available on both Schwab and Pershing.
"The next step was education about the strategy. How it works, where it will fit in the broader portfolio. This is an event-driven mutual fund, it is a little bit different from a lot of what you see in this space," he said.
Now that the fund has garnered a solid year of performance, the firm's third phase of education will include aggressive showcasing of managers, video conferences, road shows and a white paper.
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