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Rating:Acquisitions Are Still the Main Focus For This Big Apple Shop Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Acquisitions Are Still the Main Focus For This Big Apple Shop

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Fresh off of buying a subadvisor and investing in a mutual fund shop, a New York City-based asset manager is still on the hunt.

"The main focus is still on acquisitions," Jim Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal Asset Management, tells MFWire, "but we're very picky and choosy about the firms that join us."

James Lebenthal
Lebenthal Asset Management
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer
Last March LAM and Alexandra Lebenthal (CEO of LAM parent Lebenthal Holdings) each bought minority stakes in what is now Lebenthal Lisanti Capital Growth, with Lisanti founder Mary Lisanti staying on as president, chief investment officer and majority owner. Then in December LAM acquired the assets of Griffin Asset Management, bringing over the whole Griffin team. Lebenthal Lisanti offers a small-cap growth mutual fund, while Griffin subadvises a covered call mutual fund from Klingenstein Fields.

Jim Lebenthal says that he is looking for three things when it comes to acquisitions.

Alexandra Lebenthal
Lebenthal Wealth Advisors
Chief Executive Officer, President
"First and foremost we want to make sure that they culturally fit," he says. "We're looking for great investors. And we are looking for strategies that complement the range of strategies that we already have."

In terms of investing style and capabilities, Jim Lebenthal says, "the gaps are getting filled up quite quickly" at LAM. They can do U.S. equities (both growth and value), international equities, and taxable and tax-free bonds. He's looking for things like specialty equity products, sector-specific strategies, and long-short hedge fund strategies. Though he's open to other specialties, too.

"We will look at anybody that has an interesting investment product," even if LAM already has capabilities in that style box, Jim Lebenthal says. "I wouldn't turn anyone away."

LAM is based in the Big Apple. They're focused on acquisition targets in the greater New York City area, though not exclusively. LAM does have satellite offices in Georgia, Michigan, and North Dakota.

Mary Lisanti
Lebenthal Lisanti Capital Growth
President, Portfolio Manager
"If the right team appears and it happens not to be in the greater New York area, we certainly will take a look and not rule it out," Jim Lebenthal says.

LAM is focused primarily on products for U.S. investors, not international ones. And Jim Lebenthal's target acquisition size is $200 million and up in AUM.

"In addition to that, we are focused on organic growth" in both the institutional and high net worth channels, Jim Lebenthal adds.

Watch for the LAM folks to continue to build out their distribution team.

LAM now has $1.5 billion in AUM and 35 people. There are 90 people in total across the Lebenthal family of companies, which includes broker-dealer Lebenthal & Co, family office Lebenethal Family Wealth Management, LAM, and financial consulting RIA Lebenthal Wealth Advisors

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