Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC, an investment manager with $75bn in assets under management, joined the AMX platform in July 2018. Brandywine Global is committed to delivering superior outcomes for clients, with a focus on value investing.
According to Brandywine Global, AMX has given them a competitive edge, with cost and time savings, more choice for investors, and the ability to focus on delivering value-added investment services.
We recently spoke with Tad Fetter and Jim Smith at Brandywine Global about their experience of working with AMX. As the global head of business development and client service, Tad led the effort to get Brandywine Global’s Sovereign Credit fund onto the AMX platform. Jim is responsible for relationships with clients and consultants in the UK and continental Europe.
“It’s a competitive world and we are amongst the leaders in this asset class but working with AMX gives us the implementation edge, which is good for our clients, and therefore good for us.”
Q1. Why did Brandywine Global choose AMX?
Tad: “Moving to a more institutional focused fund platform has helped us better manage costs and create efficiencies. Working with AMX provided us with a lower cost alternative which improves our competitiveness.
We are vehicle agnostic and, depending on client preferences, can offer a variety of vehicles with lower and higher fees, in addition to separate accounts, because AMX is more operationally competitive in terms of expenses. AMX also handles many of the fund related issues, which lets us focus on client communication and generating alpha.”
Jim: “It’s a competitive world and we are amongst the leaders in this asset class but working with AMX gives us the implementation edge, which is good for our clients, and therefore good for us.”
Q2. What is most compelling about the AMX solution?
Tad: “AMX handles all the operational components of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML), removing a big burden for us when clients are onboarding a new fund. Our clients can deal directly with AMX, creating a smoother experience for everyone.
In addition, an unexpected benefit was how AMX worked with us across hedge classes. We were a new strategy on the platform, with a great deal of currency usage across multiple currency investors. The team at AMX were willing to listen, learn and partner with us to ensure we could move forward with our hedge class programme. The experience was more like working with people in our own firm than a third party.
By having an institutional focus, AMX is more aligned to what we are doing, whereas some platforms cover a variety of investor types – Brandywine can leverage what AMX is doing and run our own reporting on top.”
Q3. What was your onboarding experience like?
Tad: “It was one of the smoothest transitions, of any type, that we’ve ever done. To quote some of our operations team, ‘we wish everybody operated like AMX’. It has been such a good dialogue throughout that it feels as if we are working with internal partners rather than an external firm.”
Q4. What benefits have you or your clients seen?
Tad: “We are vehicle agnostic at Brandywine Global with a focus on high alpha outcomes. AMX is more operationally competitive than some clients` fund accounts and some other third parties. So, being able to provide a very competitive operational expense ratio puts less pressure on management. Investors are really looking at the whole fee package and what it delivers, particularly in the last year. They’re factoring in custodial fees plus the costs of opening all the different accounts. Partnering with AMX lets us offer fund services at fees that are as competitive as a separate managed account. This benefits us and our clients, as they have more available and attractive investment options.
Jim: “All our clients face governance challenges and are being asked to do more and more with less and less. AMX has made their workload easier and given us an implementation edge. For example:
- If a client has 10 separate accounts and 10 funds, they’d have 20 passwords, 20 different ways of receiving information, and constantly be wondering if they are comparing apples to apples. With those same funds on AMX, that investor is dealing with one platform, one password, and one set of consistent reporting across all their managers.
- Changing an asset allocation is quick and easy – and reducing processing reduces the chance for errors.
- Onboarding a new fund is also much simpler and cost effective, because all contracts are structured in a standard way meaning less time is spent on operational and legal due diligence. Simply put, the more relationships investors can manage via AMX, the more efficiencies increase.
Tad: “The value of consistent risk reporting, with standardised metrics, can’t be underrated. Having everything on AMX gives our clients a single lens and consistent set of data points through which to view their portfolio. This is something which managers can’t provide quickly and custodians struggle with. Clients can see their total exposure to a particular security across of all their managers, or a consistent view of their portfolios across all managers. That kind of operational efficiency is a big game changer.”
Jim: “We don’t need to spend time reconciling differences to help a client understand what we have reported versus what their custodian has reported. Through the AMX portal, they can quickly see the same information across their portfolio.”
Tad: “Clients can reach out directly to AMX for help with statements and audit requests. The time we save lets us focus on what we do best – managing money and talking to our client about their portfolio. Rather than dotting Is or crossing Ts, we have more time to spend on providing market commentaries or investment insight.
Q5. Can you sum up how AMX helps Brandywine Global Investments?
Tad: “AMX allows us to be more competitive and focus on what’s important – the client, the markets and the portfolio. We don’t have to spend time, energy and resources on increased operational burdens.”
Jim : “AMX helps us give clients choice and creates operational efficiency for all. It enables clients to invest in their investment manager as efficiently as possible. They’re happy, we’re happy!”
“It has been such a good dialogue throughout that it feels as if we are working with internal partners rather than an external firm.”