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Rating:New Fund Firm Makes Giant Bet Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, August 14, 2006

New Fund Firm Makes Giant Bet

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Wirehouse veteran Michael G. Willis has come up with what he calls, "The Holy Grail of Wall Street", and he has put it into two brand new funds of funds.

On Friday his new Colorado Springs-based fund company, Giant 5 Funds, announced the launch of the Giant 5 Total Investment System and the Giant 5 Total Index System. According to the funds' prospectus, both the Total Investment System and the Total Index System cost 136 basis points annually. Willis serves as manager for both funds.

In an interview with the MFWire, Willis explained that the two funds are meant for everybody, the "full spectrum of the financial world."

"Joe millionaire is still going to pay the bills," Willis admitted, citing the recently reduced minimum investment of $1 million (the new minimum is only $2,500), "but the average Joe needs the outlet we have here."

According to Willis, Giant 5 is concentrating its distribution on direct channels, with 80 percent of their sales coming from their website.

"We really don't want to pay Schwab or these supermarkets to sell the fund," Willis explained. "The institutional market is going to love us."

Willis fancies his new company to be the David of Wall Street, ready to throw "five stones" or themes: bonds, capital markets, energy, raw materials and real estate. The two funds invest in all five of these "stones" - the Total Investment System invests in 25 actively managed mutual funds, while the Total Index System invests in ETFs and index funds. The funds even serve to advance Willis' own social agenda a bit: 20 percent of Giant 5's profits go to Blue Giant Energy, a non-profit aiming for American energy independence by 2020 and oil independence by 2030.

Company spokesperson Brad Bird said that both funds actually went live, with money from private clients and the firm itself, back in May when the company itself launched, but that the official, public release was delayed until today to allow for regulatory approval and the finalization of the company's website. The funds now total $42 million in AUM, and, according to Bird, will probably be Giant 5's only offerings for the next five years or so.

Bisys serves as the funds' administrator and distributor, while the Bank of New York serves as the funds' custodian. 

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