Three veteran investment professionals have teamed up to form Witherspoon Asset Management, a Princeton-based investment adviser.
Witherspoon’s principals are Lee Gladden as chief executive, Thomas Kuntz as chief operating officer, and Tyler Vernon as managing director.
Both Gladden and Kuntz share a background from Commodities Corporation.
Witherspoon’s first offering is the Witherspoon Managed Futures Strategy Fund. The fund is designed for investors seeking non-correlated investments that also provide transparency and daily liquidity.
The firm’s approach to managed futures provides an alternative to funds already in the ’40 Act space. Witherspoon focuses on finding tactical specialists who may add alpha, offer unique niche trading skills, and have low correlation to each other. Most importantly, Witherspoon searches for discretionary commodity trading advisors (CTAs) who have demonstrated the ability to navigate the futures markets in a manner that minimises volatility yet successfully delivers alpha. The fund provides a multi-advisor portfolio with a tactical weighting of 75 per cent to these discretionary and tactical specialists, and a 25 per cent weighting towards systematic trend followers.
Witherspoon’s new fund is now available to registered investment advisors (RIAs) and retail investors through several major platforms.
The fund’s initial investor is Brinker Capital.
Bill Miller, chief investment officer of Brinker Capital, says: “We believe that the Witherspoon Fund is taking the right approach to managed futures. The Commodities Corporation history and strategy embodied in it means a lot to us. We think the new fund is well positioned to meet its investment objectives.”
Gladden says: “The most obvious differentiation in our portfolio comes from the low correlations among our CTAs. Because they are using different strategies in different markets, they give us the potential for more consistent performance under most market conditions. Even in the past few years, with choppy markets and the volatility caused by what has been characterised as 'risk on, risk off' behaviour, most of the managers in our fund have been profitable and have maintained a low correlation to each other.”