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Rating:A Gotham Asset Manager Buys a Nearby Subadvisor Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Gotham Asset Manager Buys a Nearby Subadvisor

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A New York City-based asset manager just made its second foray into the mutual fund business, buying a nearby mutual fund subadvisor and separate account shop.

Jim Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal Asset Management, confirms that on December 31 LAM acquired the assets of Griffin Asset Management, also based in the Big Apple. The pricing and terms and the deal were not disclosed.

James B. Lebenthal
Lebenthal Asset Management
Chief Executive Officer
Griffin claims about $390 million in AUM, mostly in separate accounts, and it offers several strategies, including covered call and dividend growth strategies. Griffin also subadvises the two-year-old, $7.2-million KF Griffin Blue Chip & Covered Call Fund, which is based on a seven-year-old Griffin covered call strategy.

A third Gotham shop, RIA Klingenstein Fields, is the advisor to the Griffin-subadvised mutual fund. MFWire could not immediately reach Klingenstein president James Fields for comment on the LAM-Griffin deal. There is no official word yet on what impact the deal will have on the KF Griffin mutual fund.

"We're still having discussions and no conclusion has been reached yet," Lebenthal tells MFWire.

Lebenthal and Doug Famigletti, president and chief investment officer of Griffin, confirm that neither side worked on the deal with an investment bank or consultant. Yet they tell MFWire that it was Russell Parker of third-party marketing shop rpmAUM who reintroduced the LAM and Griffin folks about two years ago.

Doug's father, Thomas Famigletti, founded Griffin in 1994, and in 2006 it merged with Hovey, Youngman, Associates. Griffin now has five full-time employees and one part-time employee, and the younger Famigletti confirms that the plan is to move the whole team over to LAM.

Lebenthal confirms that the Griffin deal pushes LAM's AUM to $1.5 billion. LAM's sister company, financial consulting RIA Lebenthal Wealth Advisors, has another $1 billion in AUM. The Lebenthal Holdings family also includes a broker-dealer and a family office, Lebenthal & Co and Lebenthal Family Wealth Management, respectively. Lebenthal Holdings has about 90 people, including 35 in LAM.

Lebenthal praises the Griffin team for bringing "a heck of a lot of energy and expertise" to LAM.

"Doug adds many things to us, including a strategy in the covered call and dividend growth world that we did not have," Lebenthal says.

On the Griffin side, the younger Famigletti says that he sees "a lot of room for growth" with his team's strategies.

"We felt that we could really leverage the Lebenthal name, the experience, the distribution," Famigletti tells MFWire, "while providing all of our clients with a broader investment platform as well as a deeper investment team." 

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