James C. Shircliff, R. Andrew Beck and Henry W. Sanders launched River Road Asset Management, a value equity shop focused on institutional clients, Mr. Beck said in an interview. Mr. Shircliff is CEO and CIO, Mr. Beck is president and senior portfolio manager and Mr. Sanders is executive vice president and senior portfolio manager. ABN AMRO Asset Management Holdings has a 45% stake in the venture, with River Road employees holding the remaining 55%. Terms were not disclosed.
The three founders worked at Commonwealth Trust, an affiliate of Commonwealth Bank & Trust, where Mr. Shircliff was an executive vice president and director of research; Mr. Beck was a senior vice president and portfolio manager, as well as director of business development; and Mr. Sanders was a senior vice president and portfolio manager. Two other Commonwealth colleagues also joined the new firm.
Mr. Beck said the River Road team had managed a combined $50 million at Commonwealth in a small-cap value strategy and a multicap equity income strategy. With ABN AMRO opening new distribution channels for River Road and so many other small-cap value strategies facing capacity constraints, officials at ABN AMRO and River Road said the new firm's products should spark interest among institutional clients. River Road is pegging capacity for its small-cap product at $1 billion to $1.5 billion, Mr. Beck said.
Commonwealth Trust will maintain a close working relationship with the new firm, according to a joint news release from River Road and Commonwealth Bank & Trust. Commonwealth retains "an economic interest" in the new firm, with exclusive rights for River Road to subadvise its common funds and selected separate accounts for high-net-worth clients.
Commonwealth has moved to fill some of the vacancies. Rebecca K. Glauber was promoted to trust investment officer; Charles B. Dicken was promoted to trust administrative officer; and Christine M. Shirley was promoted to marketing coordinator, said Mark J. Kennedy, a senior vice president and managing director with Commonwealth Trust. The firm will hire a senior investment officer soon.