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Rating:With Fresh Capital, an ETF Entrepreneur Amps Up Marketing Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, April 26, 2019

With Fresh Capital, an ETF Entrepreneur Amps Up Marketing

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

After raising new capital, a Philadelphia-area ETF entrepreneur is expanding his team and amping up marketing. Next up will be building new strategies.

Dom Catrambone, CEO of VolShares issuer Whitford Asset Management, confirms that the Paoli, Pennsylvania-based startup has added three people and now numbers five in total, including two outside consultants who are working with Whitford full time. The expansion comes after a foreign investor (whom Catrambone declined to identify) rescued Whitford with some fresh capital earlier this year.

"In the beginning of the year, we came very close to closing down," Catrambone tells MFWire. "The closure had nothing to do with the strategy and the performance. We were showing very good performance. We were struggling with raising capital."

"We had a foreign investor come in and save the day," Catrambone adds. "Now we're moving forward just concentrating on putting assets into our fund."

To that end, Whitford recently hired marketing agency Gregory FCA to help increase their public exposure, and they're reaching out to ETF strategists to get their offering used in model portfolios. Further down the line, Catrambone may team up with a third-party marketing firm to boost distribution.

In terms of funds, Whitford currently offers a single "index-based, volatility-driven" strategy, in both ETF and SMA form, that focuses on the S&P 500 stocks. (The ETF is the VolShares Large Cap ETF (VSL).) Catrambone sees broadening Whitford's lineup to include strategies that apply the same volatility-driven approach to other indices, such as mid-cap, small-cap, or international indices.

Whitford started a few years ago as a research shop focused on this volatility-driven idea. Three years ago they launched an SMA version of their flagship strategy, and in February of 2018 they rolled out the ETF. (U.S. Bank is the ETF's administrator, Quasar handles distribution, Vident does trading, and Cantor Fitzgerald is the market maker.) Catrambone sees their strategy being used for between 20 and 40 percent of an investor's allocation to domestic large cap equities.

As for Whitford's new backer, Catrambone lauds them for having "a very good team relationship." The new backer sees its Whitford investment as a financial one and is not controlling operations, he adds. 

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