Three former Third Avenue Management employees have launched an asset management company, Barron’s reports. Amit Wadhwaney, who was the lead portfolio manager for Third Avenue’s international strategy, founded Moerus Capital in New York late last year, bringing analysts John Mauro and Michael Campagna with him. The team plans to debut a hedge fund and mutual fund later this year. Late last year, Third Avenue announced it would shutter its Focused Credit Fund, which invested in high-yield bonds and had about $789 million in assets, without allowing investors to redeem shares right away. The fund had suffered from poor performance and outflows.
Morgan Stanley is expanding its advisors’ access to its unified managed account (UMA) program with a new portfolio management and trading program it calls UMAX. Advisors can use the tool to compare investment products, review estimated gains and losses on positions, and generate transition reports before they execute trades. Advisors can also generate a return forecast for a proposed allocation and show how it compares with their client's current one. UMAs, which enable advisors to allocate client assets to different asset managers within a single account, are becoming an increasingly popular method for firms to help advisors grow their business and compete against digital allocation tools. In February, TD Ameritrade partnered with Riskalyze and Adhesion Wealth Advisor to launch a digital UMA platform that automates the enrollment process.
There is a record number of millionaires in the United States, a new report by the Spectrem Group shows. The number of millionaires in America grew by 300,000 in 2015, bringing the total to 10.4 million. The increase of 3 percent is a slowdown in the 5 percent growth rate of 2014, when the number of millionaires grew by 500,000 households. The number of millionaires worth $25 million or more has grown 73 percent since 2008, compared with 54 percent for all millionaire households. The number of the ultra-rich is now at 145,000 households, up just 3,000 from 2014, CNBC is reporting.
Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s widow, Safia Farkash, is currently involved in a bizarre struggle to recover over $66 million held in her deceased son’s accounts in Malta, according to The Malta Independent. Mutassim Gaddafi, a senior Libyan government official who was killed in 2011, reportedly grew the account from a mere $770 in 2002 through a series of suspiciously large money transfers. The Libyan government is looking to claim the funds as stolen, but because of domestic turmoil, it is having trouble proving its legitimacy to Maltese officials. Ms. Farkash, on the other hand, disputes that her son did anything illegal and claims that the funds should go to her as Mutassim’s successor.