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Rating:An Arizona Startup Enters the MF Biz Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, May 21, 2020

An Arizona Startup Enters the MF Biz

Reported by Lauren Corradi, Editorial Intern

A Southwestern startup's team is trumpeting the shop's first mutual fund. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Standpoint Asset Management, a firm specializing in alternative investments, launched the Standpoint Multi-Asset Fund (BLNDX) at the end of 2019.

Eric Ryan Crittenden
Standpoint Asset Management, LLC
Chief Investment Officer
Standpoint is led by Eric Crittenden, who serves as chief investment officer, as well as chairman Tom Basso, a hedge fund manager. Crittenden previously co-founded a different liquid alts shop, Longboard.

“We worked at a previous firm," Matt Kaplan, a partner at Standpoint, tells MF. "And then he moved out of that spot to come work on this new venture."

"The mutual fund itself is a combination of an equity strategy and managed futures approach," Kaplan says.

"One of the big themes that we saw was a challenge with alternative investments," Kaplan continues. "People have their stock allocations, people have their bond allocations, but the alternative investor landscape is pretty difficult to navigate."

The new fund is positioned as a liquid, low-cost, and tax-efficient investment used to access uncorrelated returns. Standpoint's goal is to offer consistent returns with low volatility.

"We really didn't feel like there were a lot of offerings that delivered what people wanted, that they could stick with, so we kind of repackaged our strategy to a multi-asset approach and we believe it has the characteristics people want with low volatility, diversification, reasonable returns during the good times, and defense and a preparation mindset," Kaplan tells MF.

Ultimus Fund Solutions serves as the fund's accountant, distributor and TA. Thompson Hine serves as the counsel, Union Bank (MUFG) as custodian, and Cohen & Company as auditor. Intl FC Stone is the fund's broker for futures, while Interactive Brokers handles equities.

"One of the things is that managed futures have phenomenal diversification characteristics; you're going to have lower volatility," Kaplan explains.
The challenge is when you buy managed futures, it's so different than the rest of the portfolio that sometimes it causes more problems for investors ... It leaves them wondering why do I own this, it really hasn't paid off ... So we said, let's package the two together, offer that, and when people look at those returns, they will say, "That is what I want, what is it?" and we will say, "Well, it's the thing you don't like, managed futures."

"We care about diversification and being prepared for any outcome, inflation, deflation, so we like it for those reasons," Kaplan tells MF. "It's kind of an all weather approach we feel."

Kaplan notes that the fund is comfortably outperforming the S&P 500 YTD, as of the end April, with a much smaller maximum decline during a time with heavy market volatility.

"Right now, we are just focused on this one fund, and we are doing it just blocking and tackling ourselves," Kaplan tells MF. "We have a network of advisors who we have done business with in the past, but it is predominantly RIAs and through TD, Schwab and soon to be Fidelity. I would say 90 percent of our advisors in the first two to three years is going to be the RIA channel." 

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