This is part one of a series about determining if you’re a fit to start a registered product and how to get it off the ground.
You have a successful investment strategy idea. Perhaps you’re currently using it in your SMAs. You’ve done the math and know that you’re missing out on revenue by turning away smaller accounts. You know there’s demand for your strategy, but you’re hesitant to start a registered fund (mutual fund or ETF) because you don’t know if it’s right for your firm and because you’re concerned about the resources you’ll need to get it off the ground. That’s understandable, and it’s wise to critically evaluate your business and all potential scenarios before taking the leap into fund management.
What to consider
What benefits might I gain?
As you know from using our mutual fund calculator, creating a mutual fund can help you alleviate that pain of turning away assets because they don’t meet your SMA minimums. A fund may help you recapture or gain some of that recurring revenue you might be missing out on.
In addition to extra revenue you may earn from operating a fund, you may also realize efficiency benefits such as reduced trading costs/activity and the ability to leverage research and investment ideas across your fund clients.
What’s it going to cost?
- Setup and organization: $45,000 to $100,000, depending on the fund’s complexity and service providers selected. These expenses may be recouped by the advisor from the fund, subject to certain conditions.
- Annual fund operational expenses: variable, but average approximately $200,000 based on a minimum fee structure. These are considered fund expenses and are generally paid by the shareholder, subject to the fund’s expense cap.
- Distribution: extremely variable, depending on if your primary objective is to gain operational efficiency or if you are looking for additional distribution opportunities. Please contact us to discuss.
If my objective is to grow my business, how is operating a fund going to help me find new clients?
It’s all about distribution. No matter how strong your strategy is, distribution is truly key to the success of your fund, and one for which you must budget adequately. Beyond setup and ongoing operational costs, much of your investment should be earmarked for continuous sales and marketing. These costs are variable and, beyond compulsory platform fees, the amount you want to allocate to them depends on your desire to make your fund available to new investors through new channels. Although they don’t involve a defined cost, these dedicated distribution resources will be instrumental in your fund’s growth. Along with a great idea, to expand your distribution, you must have an entrepreneurial spirit and be committed to building a sales-driven organization.
Before considering a fund, it’s important to evaluate common characteristics of accounts you’re regularly turning away or not efficiently managing, as recording this type of demand in the planning stages will go far toward understanding the potential market for your fund. You will need to have a firm understanding of your potential target audience, taking into account varying market conditions, investment trends, and shortages in market offerings. Understanding your target client and how they approach investing is a crucial step in developing your fund; this is an area you can’t overlook. Good ideas must be marketed to a specific, appropriate group.
Check back next week, when we’ll go into more detail about how we help you determine appropriate fund structures, fee structures, and distribution platforms.
7756 GFS 10/1/2018 | 2139-NLD-10/2/2018