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Rating:FLX Adds Four AMs and a Vault Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, December 07, 2020

FLX Adds Four AMs and a Vault

Reported by Lauren Corradi, Editorial Intern

The folks at a third-party marketing (TPM) shop focused on asset managers recently expanded their client base and offerings.

Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based FLX Distribution, a financial tech company focused on asset management distribution, recently added four more asset managers. The new investment managers include: Wilde Capital Management, Grail Partners, Cushing Asset Management, and CenterSquare Investment Management.

"We're really fortunate with the firms in this most recent onboarding that have joined us. All of them come from different backgrounds and have different investment capabilities," Brian Moran, CEO at FLX Distribution, tells MFWire.

"WCM chose to affiliate with FLX because of their unique combination of industry leaders and tiered distribution support for all stages of asset managersí development and needs," stated Douglas Wilde, managing partner and chief investment officer at Wilde Capital Management. "FLX is strategically positioned to assist asset managers distribution efforts as industry trends shift and the demands of distribution channels evolve."

"Our deep experience in the asset management space, and financial services more broadly, has taught us the importance of strong distribution capabilities and relationships," stated Don Putnam, Grail founder and managing partner. "Brian and his team have built a platform that will leverage technology and their deep expertise to improve the experience for clients and managers alike. We are excited to join the platform."

"We're excited to be working with FLX, their highly experienced team, and their exciting new business model. We're especially thrilled to be taking our sustainable and growth equity strategies to market where investors can implement them in their portfolios," stated Cushing founder Jerry Swank.

"We are pleased to partner with FLX Distribution to bring our 30 years of real asset experience to the broader investor universe," stated Kevin Maxwell, head of capital markets for CenterSquare. "As individuals seek compelling commercial real estate and infrastructure investment opportunities traditionally reserved for institutional clients, we believe the FLX platform meets a growing access need, and we look forward to being a part of this important distribution channel."

The new four clients will join the five firms that joined the FLX platform in October, and the four in June, representing approximately $24 billion in combined AUM.

"They come to us for three reasons," FLX's Moran explains to MFWire. "We have some firms that come to us to build out distribution for them ... Second, we have firms that come to us and say, 'Hey, we have a handful of people on our team and it's not really making a dent in distribution,' and they would like more opportunity. 'Could we merge our team into your organization?' They will get more opportunity (our people) and we will be able to control some of our fixed costs while expanding sale."

"Then lastly is supplemental, where we will have very large firms ... that will say, 'Listen, there are parts of our business model that we would like to grow,' but to hire a full time employee team, the ROI on that may not be as attractive in the early years as they would like, so they look at us as a supplemental option, partnering with us but still having a significant say ensuring the messaging and brand control they care about is still in place," Moran continues. "So they will use a supplemental team of folks from FLX to implement that new strategy."

"So we have those three situations and the four that were on boarded this past month, one is supplemental ... and the other three are more build," Moran explains.

Meanwhile, the FLX Distribution team also recently launched their FLX Data Vault in an effort to allow FLX asset management firm members to distribute investment portfolio data to intermediaries, compliance, sales, and marketing quickly and at low costs. Asset management firms that engage the FLX platform as members are automatically provided with a foundational Data Vault solution package.

"The heart of what we do, in the heart of our platform, is providing a distribution solution," Moran tells MFWire. "And distribution, as I described it, is more than hiring one salesperson. Distribution has many complex factors that influence its result. And one of the factors that can influence results is the database and the RF request for proposal community and components that are really important to asset managers gaining brand visibility for what they do and how they perform versus their peer group et cetera."

"[The Data Vault] enhances distribution because it is increasing the visibility of your products, your investment strategies, by ensuring the manager research teams, the platform gatekeepers or product teams, or institutional consultants who heavily rely on these tools ... conduct the appropriate oversight that they want to and need to do," Moran says.

The solution is intended to work to eliminate the quarterly, error prone act of entering raw investment data in databases. Instead, managers will be able to seamlessly transfer the raw investment data from either a custodian or in-house, and immediately organize, arrange, and distribute the data across nine datasets.

"This tool that we provide ensures that our asset managers can make that happen in a very automated, seamless way," Moran tells MFwire. "In fact, the tool itself allows for managers who are joining FLX to populate up to 60-plus databases around the globe and it literally can happen with a click of a button and we can do it that simplistically." 

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