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Victory Capital to acquire USAA Asset Management: News Scan

Our monthly roundup of industry highlights

Victory Capital to acquire USAA Asset Management
Victory Capital Holdings announced that it will acquire USAA Asset Management, a company managing $69.2 billion in AUM and 53 investment funds.

The purchase includes USAA Asset Management's mutual fund and ETF businesses, the firm said.

"The acquisition of USAA Asset Management Company is a strong diversifier for us with the addition of quality investment teams and products and provides us entry into a new distribution channel with a loyal member base made up of members of the military community and their families," said Victory Capital CEO David Brown.

Mutual fund and ETF expense ratios have reached their lowest levels since Morningstar began tracking fees 18 years ago.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, May 18, 2018. U.S. stocks fluctuated, the dollar rose and Treasury yields retreated as investors assessed conflicting signals on trade talks between the world’s two largest economies. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Victory Capital expects the acquisition to expand and diversify its investment platform, particularly the fixed income and solutions asset class, as well as allow the company to offer its products to USAA members through a direct member-based channel.

Carlyle makes investment in iCapital
Carlyle Group has become a strategic partner in fintech company iCapital, according to iCapital.

Carlyle is partnering with the platform in order to leverage its proprietary technology and to help manage operations and administration of private equity vehicles targeting the wealth management marketplace.

"Using technology to improve operational processes and infrastructure, iCapital's platform is a potential game-changer for the industry," Norma Kuntz, managing director and global head of fund management at Carlyle, said in a statement.

Carlyle is the latest of companies to invest in the firm, following companies including BlackRock, Blackstone and BNY Mellon.

Hennessy Advisors acquires BP Capital's TwinLine Funds
Hennessy Advisors has acquired the BP Capital TwinLine Energy Fund and the BP Capital TwinLine MLP Fund.

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The acquired funds represent $200 million in assets and will be reorganized into the Hennessy BP Energy Fund and the Hennessy BP Midstream Fund.

The portfolio managers at BP Capital Fund Advisors will continue to manage the funds moving forward, according to Hennessy Advisors.

Morningstar upgrades funds
Ten mutual funds received a score boost this year, according to Morningstar, and three funds earned a gold rating. Top scores had strong analysts, value investors and traders or offered zero-cost fees according to the investment management company. Fund companies whose products went to gold include Pimco, MFS and Fidelity.

RESEARCH
Market conditions create new challenges for hedge funds
Investors are challenging large allocations to hedge funds, even though overall allocations to alternatives are steady, according to a new survey.

About 20% of investors plan to decrease allocations to hedge funds, EY found, while 34% of investors plan to increase allocations to private equity.

At the same time, hedge fund managers are more welcoming to artificial intelligence than private equity managers.

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While 74% of private equity managers do not expect to use AI, only 40% of hedge fund managers hold that expectation, according to the study.

PRODUCTS
ProShares to launch pet care ETF
A new ETF from ProShares aims to track the FactSet Pet Care Index, which is comprised of companies that generate half their revenues from the pet care industry; a sector that has grown an average of 7.6% since 2005 and is projected to reach more than $72 billion this year, according to Bloomberg News.

The ProShares Pet Care ETF (PAWZ), which will charge a fee of $5 for every $1,000 invested, is the industry's second pet-related ETF, following the Gabelli Pet Parent Fund NextShares (PETZC), which started trading in June.

PETZC, which has so far attracted $1.2 million in assets, charges a fee of $9 per $1,000 invested.

VanEck introduces video game ETF
A new fund from VanEck aims to tap into the growing popularity of competitive video gaming, Investopedia reports.

The VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO), which has an expense ratio of 0.55%, aims to track the MVIS Global Video Gaming and eSports Index (MVESPOTR), "which is intended to track the overall performance of companies involved in video game development, eSports, and related hardware and software," according to VanEck.

Columbia Threadneedle announces new muni ETF
Columbia Threadneedle Investments has expanded its strategic beta ETF lineup with the launch of the Columbia Multi-Sector Municipal Income ETF (MUST).

Recently, higher interest rates and stock market volatility have undermined gains.
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The fund has an expense ratio of 0.28% and tracks the Beta Advantage Multi-Sector Municipal Bond Index, the firm said.

Franklin expands passive lineup
Franklin Templeton Investments added three ETFs to its FranklinLiberty lineup; the Franklin FTSE Saudi Arabia ETF (FLSA), Franklin FTSE South Africa ETF (FLZA) and Franklin FTSE Latin America ETF (FLLA).

They have expense ratios of 0.39%, 0.19% and 0.19%, respectively, according to Morningstar.

ARRIVALS
Macquarie expands institutional management team
Macquarie Investment Management has appointed former WisdomTree Asset Management Sales Director Chris Jacques and Dupont Capital Management's Business Development Director Corey Mayo to institutional sales managers, the firm said.

Jacques is based in Chicago and supports Macquarie's Midwest region. Mayo is in Philadelphia and covers the East, according to the firm. They will report to Paul Ames, Macquarie's head of consultant relations and institutional sales.

Schroders appoints head of multi-asset strategy
Schroders has appointed Lesley-Ann Morgan, the firm's senior strategist, to the newly created role of head of multi-asset strategy, the firm said.

In this position, Morgan will work with Schroders' global head of multi-asset investments, Johanna Kyrklund, to head the firm's strategic partner engagement efforts and market insights.

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Vanguard CEO Buckley appointed to chairman
Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley will succeed Bill McNabb as the firm's fourth chairman in its 43-year history.

Buckley, who joined the firm in 1991 as an assistant to former CEO John Bogle, was appointed to CEO in January after filling various senior management roles for the firm including chief investment officer, head of the firm's retail investor group and chief information officer.

"Tim has been a strong, focused leader at Vanguard during times of tremendous company growth, as well as periods of significant market uncertainty," McNabb said. "The board of directors and I have tremendous confidence in his ability to lead Vanguard through this next chapter for the firm."

McNabb, Vanguard's CEO since 2008, has been with the firm since 1986 and has served as chairman of the board since 2009.

Standard Life selects chairman
Standard Life Aberdeen has appointed former HSBC Executive Director Douglas Flint to chairman, according to Bloomberg News.

Flint will succeed Gerry Grimstone, currently chairman of Barclays Bank, in the role one year after the company formed from a merger between Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life.

Flint joins CEOs Norman Skeoch, from the Standard Life side, and Martin Gilbert, former head of Aberdeen Asset Management, in this position.

Previously, Flint was executive director of HSBC since 1995, and later group chairman of the bank in 2010 before stepping down last September, Bloomberg News reports.

361 Capital appoints a president
Boutique asset manager 361 Capital has promoted VP Josh Vail to president from his previous position of senior vice president, director of sales, according to the firm.

Vail is now responsible for operations, distribution and product development management, the firm says. Vail will report to CEO Tom Florence.

The firm's OppenheimerFunds' Toller Miller to vice president and director of sales. Miller will report to Vail.

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