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Rating:AXS Buys a Two-Fund Firm In California Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, May 23, 2023

AXS Buys a Two-Fund Firm In California

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A Gotham-area liquid alts fund firm recently snapped up a nine-year-old Southern California shop with a pair of mutual funds.

Gregory David "Greg" Bassuk
AXS Investments LLC
Chairman, CEO
Last Thursday, Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments [profile], revealed that the New York City-based firm has acquired Los Angeles-based ACM Funds. The deal closed on May 15.

Pricing and terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed.

A spokesperson for AXS confirms that the acquirer's team has welcomed on board five Ascendant Capital Management, LLC (ACM) team members: Jordan Kahn, chief investment officer and president of ACM; Evan Arai, head of business development; Jacob Barwig, operations manager; Eric Hua, a portfolio associate at ACM who's now a portfolio manager at AXS; and Alan Savaoian, PM. Per ACM's most recent form ADV, filed last month, the seven-person firm was principally owned by its founder, Kahn.

Bassuk lauds the ACM for building "an outstanding set of funds with strong track records, delivering first-of-their-kind exposures in the hedged equity and alternative income categories."

"We're thrilled to welcome them to our team and to add these powerful portfolio solutions to our fast-growing lineup of distinctive and diversified mutual funds and ETFs," Bassuk states. "AXS equals 'Access' and we are very excited to introduce more advisors and investors to the unique approaches captured in these highly innovative funds."

"We're thrilled to partner with AXS Investments to take our liquid alternative funds to an entirely new level of successor for investors," Kahn states. "We share the AXS vision of leveling the playing field for investors to have the same access as the largest institutions to potentially improved investment outcomes, particularly in these challenging times."

As part of the deal, ACM's $110-million-AUM pair of mutual funds have become AXS funds. The eight-year-old ACM Dynamic Opportunity Fund has transformed into the AXS Dynamic Opportunity Fund, and the three-year-old ACM Tactical Income Fund has transformed into the AXS Tactical Income Fund.

Kahn and Savoian will continue to PM the Dynamic Opportunity Fund, and they'll be joined by AXS' Parker Binion. The fund offers A shares (ADOAX, with a 575-basis-point maximum load, a 100bps maximum deferred load, and an expense ratio of 193bps) and I shares (ADOIX, with a 100bps maximum deferred load and an expense ratio of 168bps).

Kahn will continue to PM the Tactical Income Fund, and he'll joined by Binion and Hua. The fund offers A shares (TINAX, with a 575bps maximum load, a 100bps maximum deferred load, and an expense ratio of 295bps) and I shares (TINIX, with a 100bps maximum deferred load and an expense ratio of 270 bps).

ACM's funds were series of the Northern Lights Fund Trust III, and the transformed funds are now series of the Investment Manager Series Trust. AXS has replaced ACM as the funds' investment advisor.

The transformed funds' other service providers include: ALPS Distributors, Inc. as distributor; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP as counsel; Mutual Fund Administration, LLC as co-administrator; Tait, Weller & Baker LLP as independent accounting firm; UMB Bank, n.a. as custodian; and UMB Fund Services, Inc. as co-administrator, fund accountant, and transfer agent.

With the close of the ACM deal, the AXS team has made 20 fund acquisitions so far. And a spokesperson for AXS confirms that the company "is continuing to pursue acquisitions. 

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