Kraus Returns
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Kraus Returns

Peter Kraus (no, not Peter Krause) is back, 16 months after he was ousted from AllianceBernstein. And he still has performance fees on the mind.

This morning Kraus unveiled the launch of New York City-based Aperture Investors, a new asset manager led by Kraus and backed by another multinational insurer, Milan-based Generali. Pending board and investor approval, Generali will pour up to $4 billion into Aperture's strategies. (The 187-year-old insurer now operates in 50 countries with 71,000 employees, 57 million customers, and about $588 billion in AUM as of June 30, 2018.)

The Wall Street Journal broke the news of Aperture's launch.

Aperture is an active asset manager, but one that is built on performance fees. The way Kraus and his team tell it, investors will only pay Aperture "ETF-like fees," unless Aperture's strategies beat their benchmarks (reminiscent of new funds in the works at AB before Kraus left last year). Aperture PMs will have "modest base compensation", only earning more when they outperform, and half of those bonuses will come in the form of deferred compensation. Meanwhile, Aperture even returns securities lending revenue to clients.

"Asset management is an industry long overdue for disruption," Kraus states. "There are currently too many active managers managing too much money. Fixed fees and a lack of real capacity constraints have long incentivized managers to grow assets under management rather than pursue outperformance."

Tim Ryan, CEO of Generalis Asset Management, calls Aperture "another important milestone in Generali's multi-boutique strategy launched last year." Carlo Trabattoni, head of Generali Investment Partners, lauds Kraus for his "twenty-year history of successfully leading global financial organizations and the ability to inspire and attract talent eager to transform the business of asset management."

"With Aperture, we want to combine the interest for passive with the need for active," Trabattoni states.

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