A fundster entrepreneur in the upper midwest is boosting his growth efforts in several ways. He recently expanded his team and made two key alliances; watch for him to hire more and perhaps even acquire next.
| Shannon D. Radke|
Intergrity Viking Funds
CEO, Founding Partner
"We added a wholesaler," Shannon Radke
, CEO and founding partner of Viking Fund Management's Integrity Viking Funds
], tells MFWire
. "We're also looking to add a couple more wholesalers in areas where we're currently lacking coverage."
Radke's newest wholesaler covers parts of the midwest for Minot, North Dakota-based Integrity Viking. For the next two hires, Radke is looking in particular for wholesalers to cover the southeast and the west coast. Integrity Viking now has six external wholesalers, so filling those two spots would boost its external count to eight. The team reports to Brock Teets
, Integrity Viking's director of marketing.
| Robert Mulligan|
Meanwhile, Radke is also on the hunt for acquisitions. He's specifically interested in: 1) merging other mutual funds into Integrity Viking's existing funds; and 2) adopting other funds while keeping the sellers on as subadvisors.
"We're currently in talks with two different fund groups," Radke says. "I'm hopeful by year-end that we would've completed at least one deal and be working on the second one."
| Dan Sondhelm|
"In the environment that we're in right now, actively managed fund groups, especially the small ones, are going to have to look to combine," Radke adds.
Integrity Viking, which is majority-owned by employees, now has about $700 million in AUM, offers 11 mutual funds, and lays claim to being the only fund firm in its state. The firm specializes in income-generating strategies, including municipal bond and energy sector investing.
Radke's expansion plans come after he made two key partnerships. He recently hired Distribution Revolution
, led by CEO Bob Mulligan
, and Sondhelm Partners
, led by CEO Dan Sondhelm
"These guys are experts in distribution and marketing," Radke says.
Mulligan and Tim Kelly
from Distribution Revolution are helping the Integrity Viking team coach their wholesalers.
"They're going to travel with our wholesalers, sharpen our message," Radke says. "They're also assisting us in expanding the wholesaling team ... Bob and Tim will also be involved with national accounts."
"We will look to introduce and strengthen Integrity Viking's existing relationships with research teams from wirehouses, broker/dealers, Turnkey Asset Management Programs, and RIAs," Mulligan states.
Meanwhile, Sondhelm and his team are now helping out with an "all-encompassing improved marketing effort" at Integrity Viking.
"We're also expanding our digital marketing effort," Radke says. "We're creating content and emailing the content, placing the content on our websites and really using technology to enhance the effort there."
"We're identifying when an advisor will open our email or click on an attachment, which gives us a warm lead to follow up on," Radke adds.
"We look forward to helping Integrity Viking Funds stand out from the crowd with increased visibility, credibility, and thought leadership," Sondhelm states.
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