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Rating:After Two American Beacon Deals, Needles Is Hiring Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

After Two American Beacon Deals, Needles Is Hiring

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Watch for American Beacon [profile] to build out the team of its new quantitative asset manager once the deal closes later this fall. And the American Beacon team may be expanding elsewhere soon, too. Crest co-founders Massimo Santicchia (chief investment officer) and Katherine Gallagher (senior PM) will retain their stakes in the quant shop.

Gene L. Needles Jr.
American Beacon Funds
Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer
Earlier this month, the Irving, Texas-based, private-equity-backed manager-of-managers and mutual fund shop unveiled a deal to buy a controlling interest in Palm Beach, Florida-based Crest Investment Group from Cypress Capital Group.

"We will be building out additional people for the team as we transition away from their current owners," says Gene Needles, chairman, president, and CEO of American Beacon. "They'll continue to operate as usual with some additional resources we intend to apply to the firm."

Needles plans to hire "some operations support" for Crest. And he plans to add other people, too, outside of Crest. American Beacon has about 110 people in total, Needles says, and $51.7 billion in AUM as of June 30.

"The company continues to grow," Needles tells MFWire. "We're likely to expand next year with some additional territories, initially hybrid territories."

"We've been interviewing for two ETF specialists as part of our ARK [profile] acquisition," Needles says. (American Beacon bought a minority stake in the active ETF shop earlier this year.) "We're considering hiring in the e-commerce space but haven't made a decision on that yet."

Yet Needles cautions that he is cautious about hiring, even "when the market is roaring."

"We don't over staff," Needles says. "We're lean and mean. We intend to stay that way."

As for Crest, Needles confirms that the quant shop will continue to be its own entity with its own name. Yet the jury's still out on whether the quant shop will keep the Cypress name specifically.

"We're exploring potential names but nothing is in the offing right now," Needles says. "I don't know if we'll change it or not."

Santicchia of Crest looks forward to upgrading Crest's systems and then putting its strategies into distribution-friendly products like mutual funds and ETFs.

"We have some really good products backed by verified performance," Santicchia tells MFWire

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