A Multiboutique Will Buy a $622MM-AUM Trio
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Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Multiboutique Will Buy a $622MM-AUM Trio

A Midwestern, private equity-backed, multiboutique asset manager is preparing to buy a $622-million-AUM, three-fund mutual fund family while lifting out the trio that PMs the funds.

Mark David Goodwin
North Square Investments
Yesterday Mark Goodwin, co-founder and CEO of North Square Investments, and Phil Callahan, North Square's head of distribution, confirmed that the Chicago-based firm has agreed to buy Watkinsville, Georgia-based Stadion Money Management's mutual fund family. As part of the deal, Stadion chief investment officer Brad Thompson, senior PM Paul Frank, and PM Clayton Wilkin will join the North Square team. The North Square team expects the deal to push their mutual fund AUM to more than $1 billion and their total AUM to more than $9 billion.

Jud Doherty, president and CEO of Stadion (which is also a 401(k) managed account specialist with $2.79 billion in AUM as of September 30), did not immediately return a call for comment.

The deal, pending shareholder approval, is expected to close in Q1 2021. The three Stadion funds will be rebranded under North Square: the 16-year-old, $498.6-million Stadion Tactical Growth Fund (ETFOX) (which is PMed by Frank, Thompson, and Wilkin) will become the North Square Tactical Growth Fund; the 10-year-old, $77.3-million Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund (ETFWX) (which is PMed by Thompson and Wilkin) will become the North Square Tactical Defensive Fund; and the eight-year-old, $46.4-million Stadion Trilogy Alternative Return Fund (STTIX) (PMed by Thompson and Wilkin) will become the North Square Trilogy Alternative Return Fund.

Goodwin lauded the incoming Stadion team as "three outstanding managers with experienced, long-term track records."

"We continue to build out our differentiated product set, further strengthening our asset management capabilities," Goodwin stated.

Callahan puts the North Square-Stadion deal in the context of seeing "significant demand in the marketplace for multi-asset solutions."

The Stadion deal follows North Square's purchase of Pittsburgh-based C.S. McKee, an institutional money manager focused on taxable fixed income. That deal closed on March 12.

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