U.S. large-cap team leaves Invesco to start boutique

A six-member domestic large-cap equity management team led by Gregory R. Lai, which joined Invesco (IVZ) as part of its purchase of Morgan Stanley (MS) Investment Management's retail business earlier this year, left to launch a new independent boutique under an old name, Affinity Investment Advisors.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Lai said the move brings Affinity full circle. Affinity had been an independent boutique from 1992 through May 2007, when it was acquired by Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

The team — comprising Mr. Lai as lead portfolio manager; Jeffrey L. Randolph as COO; Jordan Floriani, Stephen Pelensky and Michael Petrino as portfolio managers; and Emmy Chang, as senior analyst — remains intact, Mr. Lai said.

While praising both MSIM and Invesco for the resources and support those firms provided to the team, Mr. Lai said Affinity will look to remain independent.

Although his team was included in the sale of MSIM's retail business to Invesco, Mr. Lai said institutional clients accounted for the bulk of the money Affinity team was managing.

According to the firm's August ADV filing with the SEC, Affinity Investment Advisors has about $600 million in assets under management.

Invesco spokesman David Bachert confirmed that Mr. Lai's team has left Invesco. He declined to provide further details.