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Rating:OpFunds Is Establishing an ETF Beachhead Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, October 05, 2015

OpFunds Is Establishing an ETF Beachhead

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Art Steinmetz is buying his way into the smart beta and ETF businesses simultaneously by snapping up a single target. Here's why he chose a $1.7-billion AUM shop in Philadelphia.

Art Steinmetz
Oppenheimer Funds
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President
"Our clients have been demanding efficient, innovative, transparent products to combine with our suite of active strategies," Peter Mintzberg, head of corporate strategy and development team at OppenheimerFunds [profile], tells MFWire.

On Wednesday Steinmetz unveiled a deal to buy RevenueShares shop VTL Associates [profile] for an undisclosed sum. Mintzberg describes VTL as "a very strong cultural fit" with OpFunds with products, investment teams, and some long track records, all of which attracted the OpFunds folks to VTL. This is also OpFunds' first foray into ETFs.

"They're ready to be plugged into our distribution engine," Mintzberg says.

New York City-based OpFunds has a headcount of about 2,000, and Philadelphia-based VTL has 14 employees.

Peter Mintzberg
Oppenheimer Funds
Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development
"We are bringing all of them onboard," including VTL founder Vince Lowry himself, Mintzberg says.

The VTL team will be allowed "to operate independently from an investment process perspective," within what Mintzberg describes as OpFunds' "true multi-boutique model."

"We plan to keep the office there [in Philadelphia] and make no changes," Mintzberg says, adding that it's a "new footprint" for OpFunds.

The deal is slated to be closed by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Mintzberg confirms that OpFunds is "trying to keep an open-mind" when it comes to future deal opportunities.

"We're constantly looking for opportunities to accelerate our growth strategy, including through acquisitions," Mintzberg says. "We'll evaluate each deal on its own merits. We're not at this point narrowing the field for this or that product." 

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