Post-Aberdeen, Smith Guides a Family Office Into Asset Management
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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Post-Aberdeen, Smith Guides a Family Office Into Asset Management

Andrew Smith is back, this time leading a family office's new asset management arm.

Blakely Page
Spouting Rock Financial Partners
Founder, President, Chairman
Today Blakely Page, president and chairman of Spouting Rock Financial Partners, confirms the recent launch of Spouting Rock Asset Management [profile], with former Aberdeen Americas co-chief Smith on board as CEO of Spouting Rock AM. Watch for Page and Smith to find more teams and boutiques to bring on board, perhaps even via acquisitions.

"We're trying to partner with very boutique, unique, high quality investment managers," Page tells MFWire.

Andrew Smith
Spouting Rock Asset Management
Lift outs are one possibility, as is hiring outside boutiques as subadvisors. And they're open to M&A "if the right opportunity comes along," Smith tells MFWire.

"We can bring in full teams," Smith says. "We'll be opportunistic with each of the products that we see out there. If it's a good strategy, a good team, with good performance, then we'll certainly look at it."

"We're trying to find the best ideas, high quality managers," Page says. "We have already partnered with several managers alaready."

In terms of investment specialities, Spouting Rock AM is "definitely focused on active management," Smith says.

"We're not looking to be the manager of all products. We don't want to have every single strategy under the sun," Smith says. "We want to basically be in the markets where they're inefficient ... We're more focused today on the alternative space."

Page stresses that Spouting Rock AM is not about chasing what's hot and trendy.

"We think like allocators," not markets, Page says.

Spouting Rock AM already has one mutual fund, which they're transforming into a small cap fund. They also have an in-house private equity and real estate group, portfolios allocating among different liquid alternative mutual funds, portfolios built out of ETFs, and more.

In terms of distribution, Spouting Rock AM is currently focused on the institutional channel, foundations and endowments, and RIAs. Smith also sees the firm making a splash with other family offices, as Spouting Rock is known in that community.

"We will build out distribution when assets come in," Smith says, adding that they're about to hire a distribution chief.

Spouting Rock has under $50 million in AUM, though Smith expects that to pass $100 million in mid-October. The firm now has a dozen employees and started in 2006 as a family office. Its merchant bank, Spouting Rock Capital Advisors, launched in 2007. The Spouting Rock name comes from a rock in Newport, Rhode Island; the rock is above a cave at sea level, and waves send water spouting up through a hole in the rock. (Page visited the rock in his childhood, and now he takes his own children there.)

Shifting into the asset management space has been a long time coming for Spouting Rock, Page says.

"I've been basically trying to incubate and build this business for the last three years," Page says. "We are going to grow. We are going to scale."

Smith previously spent more than a decade at Aberdeen, rising in 2014 to co-head of the Americas and chief operating officer. He left Aberdeen at the end of 2016.

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