The Only $180B AM That Manages No Assets?
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Only $180B AM That Manages No Assets?

Three star mutual fund entrepreneur-PMs — Rob Arnott, Mario Gabelli, and Jeffrey Gundlach — recently shared some of the current investing takes.

Robert D. Arnott
Research Affiliates
Chairman, Partner
Arnott, partner and chairman of Research Affiliates, spoke with Morningstar's Christine Benz and Jeffrey Ptak about a host of topics in an interview posted this morning. Arnott noted his firm's "pretty strong value bias" and weighed in on subjects such as: value underperforming growth for the past 12 years; his skepticism about today's tech giants ("it bears notice that disruptors get disrupted"); how contrarian active management can win; and of course fundamental indexing versus traditional indexing.

The smart beta specialist closed with a brief discussion of Research Affiliates, which Arnott described as "the only $180 billion asset manager in the world that manages no assets" (because they license out their strategies to other asset managers). That, he noted, means that decisions to, say, close a fund to new investors are made by those other asset managers, not by Arnott and his team.

GuruFocus pointed out that Gabelli — founder, chairman, and CEO of Gamco Investors — via a recent fund commentary, recently smiled on another asset manager's parent, BNY Mellon (BK on the NYSE).

"Going forward, we expect BK to benefit from rising global incomes and the cross border movement of financial transactions," Gabelli wrote. "We believe BK is also well positioned to grow earnings in a rising interest rate environment, given its large customer cash deposits and significant loan book."

Meanwhile, yesterday Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, told Reuters that the Federal Reserve has lost interest rate control.

"What else do you need to call it an inversion?" Gundlach asked, regarding interest rates.

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