This MF Startup Aims For 50 People By the End of 2018
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Monday, December 18, 2017

This MF Startup Aims For 50 People By the End of 2018

A year and a half in, a mutual fund startup just reached $10 billion in AUM. The team there has big growth plans for next year.

"I suspect if we look out a year it'll be something like 50 [staff] at the end of 2018," Tim Carver, CEO of GQG Partners, tells MFWire.

Carver expects to add new positions in client services, client reporting, sales, and marketing. Ft Lauderdale, Florida-based GQG currently has a team of 37. Of their $10 billion in AUM, about $1 billion is in their mutual funds, and Morningstar estimates put GQG near the top of the pack in net inflows among small fund firms thanks to monthly net inflows of $73 million and up for the past several months.

Big data, artificial intelligence, and social media are all areas that Carver expects to do more work with.

"One area that we're going to invest very heavily in is the technology backbone for distribution," Carver says.

Rajiv Jain founded GQG in June 2016 after more than 20 years at Vontobel, including 14 as head of equities. GQG stands for "global quality growth", which meshes with Jain's investment philosophy of investing internationally (including in emerging markets) in "quality growth at sensible prices."

Jain serves as chairman and chief investment officer of GQG, and he currently owns 95 percent of the company. Pacific Current Group, which GQG's Carver co-founded in 2006 and which is a private equity buyer of boutique investment firms, owns the remaining five percent of GQG. Watch for GQG's ownership to change further down the line.

"Over time we will allocate equity very broadly among the team" at GQG, Carver says. "You want to take your time to issue equity, get the right people on the bus in the right seats."

"If you're going to have really low fees ... you've got to have a very lean machine," Carver adds.

Jain has infused GQG with a specific philosophy, one that sees asset management as a privilege and that encourages you to invest alongside your clients. About two-thirds of Jain's net worth is invested in GQG's mutual funds.

"You want alignment all the way through," Carver says. "There's a lot of stuff that you can do structurally. People miss some of the cultural things that actually really matter."

Jain strives for a lean cost structure, and he is uninterested in stability for its own sake.

"There's so much lip service paid to stability," Jain says. "Isn't stability a sign of stagnation? Isn't that the problem?"

"I didn't bring anybody from Vontobel," Jain adds. "I've freshened up the whole team. You've got to adapt to the change."

"One of of our core beliefs is that this is the most competitive, the most meritocratic business in the world. You have to build a culture for competitive edge in everything that you do," Carver says. "We're going to find incredibly hungry, driven people."

In terms of distribution, GQG reaches out to both the institutional market and across the advisor channel to independent broker-dealers, RIAs, and wirehouses. Down the line, Carver says, they hope to break into the defined benefit and DC I-O channels, too.

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