Former NFL player to acquire $7bn ETF shop
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Super Bowl winner and entrepreneur Casey Crawford will acquire Vident Investment Advisory and its affiliates, the firm has announced earlier this month.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.
All of the boutique firm’s investment, advisory and financial services lines will be renamed Vident Asset Management, according to the announcement.
Once the deal closes, the former National Football League player will acquire the entire firm along with its 20 employees, said Vince Birley, Vident’s chief executive.
Crawford would make a significant equity investment in Vident at the close of the deal, the announcement stated.
Birley and Deborah Kimery, the company’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, along with Amrita Nandakumar, its president, will remain in their roles after the deal closes. Crawford’s equity investment would fund an unnamed trading and operations platform, employees and new business lines, Nandakumar said in the announcement.
The advisory, subadvisory and research boutique had hit capacity with many of its services, Birley said.
“Because of demand being so strong, we want to hire ahead to expand growth for some clients,” Birley said. “That’s adding some people, improving scaling systems, across lines. Direct indexing is a new one. We’re building that one out as well.”
Vident was founded in 2013 by former private wealth manager Nicholas Stonestreet, Nandakumar said. Its bespoke subadvisory division was founded by Denise Krisko in 2014.
A former NFL tight end for three seasons and a player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2003 Super Bowl-winning team, Crawford transitioned to financial services when he retired the same year. He owns Movement Mortgage, the nation’s sixth-largest retail mortgage lender, valued at $30bn, according to the company’s website.
He has purchased several small competitors in the mortgage industry as recently as 2022, as well as First State Bank in Virginia in 2017, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
Crawford’s purchase of Vident represented his foray into asset management as he diversified his financial services holdings, Birley said.
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Vident would be in a holding company separate from Crawford’s other companies, he added.
Vident had approximately $7.1bn in assets under management across products, Birley said. Vident is listed as the subadvisor on 39 ETFs with a total of $5.2bn in assets, according to Morningstar Direct data. Those funds gathered $56mn in net inflows during the year ended March 31.
It provides subadvisory services for clients such as Bitwise’s futures Bitcoin ETF and Hypatia Capital Management’s woman-focused thematic ETF.
Vident also sponsored four proprietary ETFs, specifically created for one RIA client offering, Birley said. Those funds held a combined $1.4bn in assets as of March 31, Morningstar Direct data shows. Together, the funds collected $26mn in net inflows during the year ended March 31.
The firm also offers index research, custom products and several separately managed account platforms on behalf of its clients, including direct indexing SMAs.
“We have built a strong foundation at Vident over the past decade, and in Casey we have aligned with someone who has a lengthy track record of acquiring firms with strong growth potential and providing them with the capital needed to scale and build for the future,” Birley said in the statement.
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