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TwentyFour Asset Management Taps American Beacon for U.S. Entry

The partnership allows the U.K. fixed-income specialist to take its first steps into the U.S. market.

  • Joe McGrath

TwentyFour Asset Management, a U.K. fixed-income manager, is offering its first U.S. fund with the help of Dallas-based distributor American Beacon.

The firm’s entrance in the U.S. market comes two years after the asset management arm of Vontobel, a Swiss private bank, acquired the business and pledged to extend the British fund manager’s international reach. Mark Holman, chief executive of TwentyFour, said in an interview that the Securities and Exchange Commission has approved its American Beacon TwentyFour Strategic Income Fund for sale starting April 3.

“The barriers to entry to other international markets can be taken down by entering into a partnership,” he said, referring to the firm’s relationship with American Beacon. “The real positive has been overseas distribution. Vontobel has a big presence in the U.S. through its U.S. asset management boutique.”

The American Beacon TwentyFour Strategic Income Fund, which sits in a multi-sector bond category, will be the U.S. equivalent of the firm’s global unconstrained fund, according to Holman. U.S. investors will be offered discounts on the fees for investment blocks larger than $250,000, the firm’s filing with the SEC shows.

The U.K. version of the fund has been part of the reason for the group’s rapid growth in Europe. TwentyFour Asset Management has grown from a start-up boutique in 2008, when the global financial crisis on Wall Street was intensifying, to a niche manager with more than £9 billion (about $11.3 billion) in assets.

Holman, who previously worked at Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley, says TwentyFour’s acquisition by Vontobel didn’t change the firm’s “culture of performance comes first.”

Under the deal, announced in March 2015, Vontobel bought a 60 percent stake in the British fund manager. TwentyFour’s partners and employees kept 40 percent of the business, but agreed to be sell their stake to Vontobel over the longer-term.

“When we went into the partnership with Vontobel, we wanted to remain a stand-alone boutique, but we now have a bigger institutional backbone and supervisory board,” said Holman. “There are five seats on that board, and two of them are from us.”

Vontobel’s New York operation, Vontobel Asset Management, was founded in 1984 and now has some $32.8 billion in assets, according to the company’s website.

TwentyFour’s distribution partner, American Beacon, lists on its website several large fund managers as its sub-advisors, including Pacific Investment Management Company, Man GLG and Templeton Investment Counsel. American Beacon didn’t immediately provide comment.