Why Philly’s Asset Management Industry Just Formed an Alliance
Philadelphia’s asset management industry has come together to form the first ever Philadelphia Fund Alliance, a coalition of hundreds of industry professionals.
While the newly formed group is the industry’s way to organize and raise funds for select Philadelphia charities—they made an inaugural donation of $40,000 to CHOP last week—the Alliance is also a signal to Philadelphia: there are plenty of reasons to stay and grow businesses in the region.
According to Bruce G. Leto, a partner at Stradley Ronon, a firm on the Fund Alliance’s steering committee, Philadelphia’s asset management professionals make up one of the region’s largest group of businesspeople, but on the national stage, the success of Philly-area firms and companies isn’t always recognized. Instead, Leto says that he and his colleagues constantly find themselves in New York City for industry-related events.
“Nationally when people think of the fund industry and their services providers, they think of New York and Washington D.C.,” said Leto, “but the history of the fund business really started in Boston and in Philadelphia.”
Vanguard, for example, set up shop in Philadelphia with one of the mutual fund industry’s first balanced funds, the Wellington Fund in 1929. And the Delaware Group’s first fund was created in 1935 in the region.
“The Alliance is a way to give back to the community and acknowledge and celebrate the fund industry’s deep roots here,” Leto said.
The Fund Alliance currently has 13 steering committee members including Delaware Investments, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Drinker Biddle, FS Investments, Morgan Lewis, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and SEI Investments.
Leto acknowledges that the Alliance does cast a wide net by including partners in fields outside of asset management, but it’s an opportunity to bring the region’s law firms, accounting firms, and asset managers together, he explained.
“We don’t have to leave Philadelphia to network and grow,” said Leto.
“But we do want to bring life to the industry and create networking opportunities right in our own region.”
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