Just so we’re clear, AFAM stands for Al Frank Asset Management. Yes, that Al Frank; the guy who started his company in 1977 with a typewriter and a newsletter and built it to what it is today. Of course, Jeff Montgomery also had a little something to do with that. The former head of National Financial Partners took over at AFAM in 2008. His first orders of business were to buy Innealta Capital, increase his sales and marketing staff by 50% and grow assets under management by 800%. Competent doesn’t begin to describe him. It’s safe to say we like this guy.
You’ve said 2008 marked a new era for the company. How?
In 2008 we developed a strategy plan; just six words. It’s relatively rare that you come up with just six words for your strategic plan—diversify product, diversify distribution, add talent. That’s it. We want to be the best, not the biggest, but the best mid-sized asset management boutique providing specialty solutions to private clients. To financial advisors in the [United States], boutique means limited access. We don’t do business with all parties. Specialty products are all we have. We don’t have vanilla product here.
Where is your growth coming from?
It’s coming from the Innealta acquisition, which we’ve owned exactly two years. Tactical ETFs could not be a more growth-oriented market right now. It is a white-hot market. Advisors are seeking proven tactical solutions to deal with these tumultuous markets, so we’re growing in the Innealta division probably by about four to one.
Um…launched in 2008, are you nuts?
What a phenomenal question—that’s the best that’s been asked.