Gemini Fund Services is expanding its portfolio, building out its Northern Lights Fund Trust I shared mutual fund trust with the addition of three new funds from Ascendant Advisors.

The new additions come in the form of the Ascendant National Resources Fund, Ascendant Multi-Cap Equity Fund and Ascendant Balanced Fund, and mark Ascendant's effort to broaden access to its investment portfolio beyond just institutional investors to mutual fund investors.

The collaboration is the first between Gemini and Ascendant, a partnership that both shops position as a diversification play.

"Our prediction that more advisors will seek diversification and risk protection via alternative investment products has been proven to be true," Gemini President Andrew Rogers said in a statement. "Advisors like Ascendant are concerned about rising business expenses and levels of regulation, and they look to Gemini to help raise assets and manage portfolios while reducing the costs of bringing their products to market."

Paul Wigdor, managing director of Ascendant Funds, called diversification "the single most important factor facing individual and institutional investors alike."

The most broadly diversified product in the mix is the Ascendant Balanced Fund, which pairs Ascendant's Multi-Cap Equity and Fixed Income Composite Strategies, aiming to outperform a 60-40 mix of the S&P 1500 and Merrill Lynch Master Government/Credit Bond Index.

With its focus on "hard asset" commodities such as oil and gas, precious metals and agriculture, the Ascendant Natural Resource Fund looks to outperform the S&P North American Natural Resource Sector Index in the long term.

The Multi-Cap Equity Fund, positioned to allocate to Ascendant's varied natural resources strategies, aims to outperform the S&P 1500 index in the long term.

With more than $6.6 billion in assets spread over more than 80 funds, NLFT I ranks as Gemini's largest shared trust. NLFT I assets doubled last year and vaulted 20% in the first quarter of this year, according to Gemini.



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