The asset management division of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic fraternal service organization dating back to 1882, launched a new Investment Advisor Representative program comprised of approximately 100 advisors from its existing insurance businesses. The program has $ 28 million in assets so far, but the company expects that figure to reach $ 300 million by the same time next year.
The advisers report to the firm’s existing RIA, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors (KoCAA), which currently manages around $ 30 billion in assets for institutional clients. Until 2015, the RIA managed assets only for its parent company, but expanded in 2015 to serve institutional investors. From now on, the company will offer its investment strategies and advice to retail clients for the first time.
The Knights of Columbus decided to launch the AI program at the request of existing insurance clients for investment assistance and charitable donations. The company has more than 1,000 insurance agents, said Thom Duffy, vice president of investment strategy at KoCAA.
“We take those people who already have a financial history, who already work directly with clients and understand their financial situation and who now integrate not only protection with insurance, but the growth opportunities available with investments,” said Duffy.
Although the unit’s asset size is still relatively small, the company brings in $ 2 million per week in new assets and the advisors have an average account size of over $ 150,000. They currently have counselors in 33 states, but Duffy plans to reach 200 counselors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the end of the year. AssetMark serves as the custodian of the RIA.
The program does not currently have an aggressive recruiting campaign. Duffy expects the growth to come primarily from the insurance business. All of its current advisers are Catholic, since this is the clientele they serve, but the firm is open to calling on non-Catholic advisers.
“If other people come to us and say, ‘I’d like to be a counselor,’ we’ll be happy to discuss it. But obviously our niche is the Catholic niche so someone who is going to work in that environment should appreciate and be able to connect with clients at that level, ”Duffy said.
The company has a range of nine mutual funds and 85 model portfolios, which invest with Catholic stocks. This means that all of its investments are in line with United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“Everything the bishops say is not suitable for investment, we are not investing in it. Conversely, anything that they don’t put out of bounds is something we would consider, ”said Duffy.