Emotional Volatility

Content provided by Grant Engelbart, CFA, CLS Portfolio Manager My father recently asked me about an email he received promoting a “special newsletter.”  You know the kind – “The Dow Will Plummet to 6,000! – subscribe now and save yourself!” These type of doomsayers have always been around, except they become particularly loud at points...

A Cowboy in Finance

Content provided by Robyn Murray, Freelance Writer At age 23, Rusty Vanneman left a well-paid position in Boston to work on a cattle ranch. In the small, Nebraska Sand Hills town of Valentine (population 2,737), Vanneman ditched his suit to don his boots—trekking through the sand and prairie grass to brand cattle and make haystacks....

Bulls, Bonds, and Free Lunches

Content provided by Josh Jenkins Q: About a year ago, analysts predicted the bull market in bonds was over. But today, CLS says it is still intact. What changed? Going into 2014, I think the expectations on Wall Street were definitely for an increase in interest rates moving forward. During 2013, when the Fed began...

Are U.S. Equities Overvalued?

Content provided by Kostya Etus, CLS Associate Portfolio Manager The word “overvalued” has been thrown around a lot lately, specifically when referring to the U.S. stock market. But, this kind of classification needs to be put into perspective and backed up with data. The idea of elevated valuations is that they tend to lead to...

TA Associates to Acquire Majority Interest in NorthStar

  • Deal includes CLS Investments, Gemini Fund Services and Orion Advisor Services 
  • TA will provide resources and leverage to allow NorthStar subsidiaries to expand support for financial advisor clients and access to additional capital for acquisitions 
  • NorthStar selected TA Associates for deep expertise in financial services and technology, coupled with a desire to remain a privately held company 
  • Existing NorthStar management team to continue at helm 

BOSTON, February 9, 2015 – TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC, and its nine subsidiary wealth management industry service providers. NorthStar’s management team will remain significant owners following closing, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2015. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“NorthStar and its talented management team have created a platform that serves multiple channels within the global wealth management industry, from money management and pooled investment solutions to integrated technology and compliance services,” said M. Roy Burns, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will join NorthStar’s Board of Directors. “NorthStar’s compelling business model adds value for its clients, resulting in an excellent record of growth.

TA Associates’ considerable experience in financial services enables us to offer strategic counsel and resources to augment NorthStar’s organic growth and pursue strategic acquisitions to build long-term value.”

With approximately $275 billion in assets under management and administration, NorthStar provides a wide array of support services to registered investment advisors (RIAs), independent broker dealers (IBDs) and investment management firms. The company’s primary business units are CLS Investments, Gemini Alternative Funds, Gemini Fund Services, Gemini Hedge Fund Services, Northern Lights Compliance Services, Northern Lights Distributors and Orion Advisor Services. NorthStar has approximately 700 employees and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with additional offices in Hauppauge, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Mill Creek, Washington; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“After exploring numerous options designed to take the NorthStar companies to the next level of growth, we made a carefully thought-through decision to remain a private company, and to retain our independence, which we believe is to the benefit of our clients,” said Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services.

“NorthStar is at a point in our evolution that warrants this type of growth-oriented partnership,” said Todd Clarke, CEO of CLS Investments. “TA Associates was the right fit for us as their financial services experience, significant ETF market understanding, and management-friendly approach is compatible with ours.”

“TA Associates has an appealing track record of supporting the companies it invests in as a true partner in growth – this benefits everyone, most importantly our clients and our staff,” said Andrew Rogers, CEO of Gemini Fund Services. “We’re excited for what the future holds for the NorthStar family.”

“The creation of new alternative investment products is occurring at a rapid pace and the RIA market is one of the highest growth segments in financial services,” said Todd R. Crockett, a Managing Director at TA Associates who also will join NorthStar’s Board of Directors. “NorthStar is recognized as an innovative leader in these evolving sectors, providing RIAs and investment management firms SaaS-based solutions and high touch client-centric administrative services.”

Goodwin Procter is providing legal counsel to TA Associates. Mayer Brown is serving as legal counsel and Raymond James & Associates is acting as financial advisor to NorthStar.

About NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC

NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC is a holding company for several subsidiaries, including CLS Investments, one of the largest ETF strategists in the United States; Gemini Fund Services, a provider of mutual fund administration and pooled investment solutions; and Orion Advisor Services, among the country’s largest independent providers of Software as a Service portfolio accounting services to RIAs. Each business unit offers unique services within the financial industry, including asset management, pooled investment solutions, portfolio accounting, fund distribution and compliance, and printing and marketing. NorthStar helps investment advisors enhance client service, increase operational efficiencies and expand their businesses. NorthStar is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with additional offices in Hauppauge, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Mill Creek, Washington; and Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, please visit

About TA Associates 

TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in 450 companies around the world and has raised $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at



The Value of International Investing

Content provided by J.J. Schenkelberg Lately, we have been talking a lot about the attractive relative valuation of international stocks versus the S&P 500.  We can see it in the earnings numbers and valuation reports.  But, I don’t think anything really brings to light the relative opportunity with international stocks like the charts below.  Pictures...