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American Century brings on Lombardia international value equity team

Move comes amid outflows, reorganization at Lombardia Capital Partners

American Century Investments lifted out the team managing the international value equity portfolio at Lombardia Capital Partners, confirmed American Century spokesman Chris Doyle in an interview.

Mr. Doyle said the three-person team, led by senior portfolio manager Alvin Polit, will complement other offerings at American Century. “This is filling an investment gap,” said Mr. Doyle of the new Pasadena, Calif., value team that managed $454 million at Lombardia.

He said American Century has a fundamentally oriented domestic value equity team but no international value fundamental equity investment team. American Century has $162 billion in total assets under management.

The move is a potential major setback for Lombardia Capital Partners, which reorganized last month as part of efforts to stem the loss of assets. Vincent Williams, who was named co-CEO of Lombardia last month, did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls as to who will manage the value portfolio. Mr. Doyle said the team is starting fresh at American Century in gaining new assets.

Mr. Williams in an interview in February said the firm's assets had fallen to $1.2 billion from “north of $2 billion,” due to net outflows that followed the death of Executive Chairman Jorge Castro in March 2015. Mr. Castro was also a co-founder and former CEO. Mr. Williams said in the interview that the firm's largest investment portfolio was its $780 million small-cap value strategy.

But since the interview, at least three pension plans have terminated their investments in the portfolio:

  • The $186 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, announced earlier this month it terminated a $177 million Lombardia small-cap equity separate account in January.
  • A March news release from the $16.9 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System, Champaign, announced that pension fund was terminating its $116 million investment in the small-cap value strategy.
  • The $7.6 billion Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, Little Rock, also disclosed in March that it had terminated its $162 million investment in the strategy.

Lombardia is one of the oldest minority-owned investment firms in the U.S.