A former head of research for Morphic Asset Management has launched a multi-boutique, aiming to partner with investment managers looking for distribution support.
Mantis Funds, led by Timothy Cheung as chief executive, picked up Dalton Street Capital as its first client when the latter's old distribution partner, Prodigy Investment Partners shut down in March. Equity Trustees had decided to wind up Dalton's funds but Mantis was able to convince it to reverse its decision.
Since then, Mantis has added Firth Investment Management, a Singapore-based Asian equities firm set up by an ex-Schroders team, and is on its way to finalising a third partnership.
Mantis has taken an office in the ANZ Tower on Castlereagh Street. Its lineup includes Cheung, former FIIG Securities chief executive Mark Paton as chair and former Pengana, CFSGAM and Ascalon sales lead Damien Hatfield as head of distribution.
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It will partner with boutiques on a revenue share and/or equity ownership model.
It is currently owned by LSL Partners, a principal investment firm supported by family offices and UNHW Capital where Cheung is a partner and the chief investment officer.
One of LSL's investments is Forum 360, a tech platform for online fund manager updates, which Mantis's boutique partners will use.
"We plan to grow Dalton as the pre-eminent systematic strategy provider in Australia," Cheung told Financial Standard, adding that Dalton had about $50 million in assets at the time of now-reversed closure and has performed well since March.
"Our view is that it was in the best interests of clients to keep the fund open under a new, more efficient cost structure. Together Dalton and Mantis managed to convince our RE, EQT to retract the closure notice so it is now business as usual with the existing team, fund and trading infrastructure and the majority of clients staying on board," he said.