Ultimus Helps Kovitz Launch ETF with Assets from Two Mutual Funds and Numerous SMAs

Kovitz selects Ultimus to assist in the merger of two mutual funds and multiple SMAs into the firm’s first ETF

Jan 24, 2023

CINCINNATI, OHIO – January 24, 2023, Ultimus Fund Solutions® (Ultimus®), a leading independent provider of full-service technology-enhanced fund administration, accounting, and investor solutions, proudly announces its collaboration with Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC (Kovitz) on its successful launch of an actively managed ETF. Kovitz, an independently-managed investment advisor, partnered with Ultimus for its administration and conversion knowledge in the launch of what would become Kovitz’s first ETF.

This unprecedented conversion was exceptionally unique because of the merger of two mutual funds in combination with the significant asset conversions from separately managed accounts (SMAs) with similar investment strategies into one new ETF, thereby generating greater efficiency. The merger involved two existing mutual funds managed by Kovitz, the Marathon Value Portfolio and the Green Owl Intrinsic Value Fund, as well as assets from over 400 SMAs managed by Kovitz, and converted them into a single ETF, the Kovitz Core Equity ETF (EQTY). Due to its extensive ETF and mutual funds experience and ability to simplify the complex, Ultimus continues to be sought after as one of the leading firms to help guide clients through sophisticated processes such as this.

Merging two mutual funds and combining more than 400 SMAs is extraordinary in scale, and a new product launch of this magnitude can only be achieved through exceptional partnership. Ultimus helped Kovitz with coordinating resources across various disciplines, including Vedder Price, who oversaw the legal aspects of the conversion, and Cohen & Company, the auditor for the two mutual funds and the ETF. The project involved oversight of the custody and accounting conversion of over $640 million in assets from multiple custodians, recordkeepers, and transfer agents, coordination with market participants and listing exchange, as well as the specialized diversification testing required on each account to ensure a tax-free transfer of assets under Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Robert Contreras, Co-President and General Counsel at Kovitz, emphasizes the importance of working with a partner that not only has the expertise and resources to help accomplish the enormous project, but also the communication skills necessary to navigate through a transaction that was so operationally complex. “Ultimus educated us on tax issues and applicable regulations as well as the ETF ecosystem as a whole, and demonstrated an essential ability to clearly communicate and liaise between various disciplines in a manner that was absolutely essential to a transaction of this magnitude. I am thoroughly impressed with Ultimus’ project management skills and ability to provide expertise on all aspects of the process. This was a lengthy and multi-faceted undertaking, and we couldn’t have asked for better partners to guide us through it.”

Kevin Wolf, Head of Fund Administration at Ultimus, expresses the profoundness of this conversion. “We are especially proud of this latest launch because of the unprecedented nature and sheer size of the operation. This launch required diligent attention to many details and a methodical approach to project management but will significantly increase the overall operational efficiency for Kovitz. Ultimus’ number one priority is to listen to our client’s needs first, and then apply proper recommendations and support to achieve those goals in the most effective way possible. We are very proud to have been selected by Kovitz to help make this launch successful.”


About Ultimus

Ultimus Fund Solutions (Ultimus) is a leading provider of full-service tech-enhanced fund administration, accounting, middle office, and investor solutions to support the launching and servicing of registered funds, private funds, and public plans. The company also offers customized structures designed for the unique needs of pensions, endowments, foundations, and other large institutions. Ultimus’ deep commitment to excellence is achieved through investments in best-in-class technology, compliance programs, organization-wide cyber security efforts, and hiring seasoned professionals.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio with offices in other major cities such as Chicago, Denver, New York, and Boston, Ultimus employs more than 925 seasoned accountants, attorneys, paralegals, application developers, fund administrators, compliance specialists, and many others with years of experience in the financial services industry. Servicing over 1,600 total traditional and alternative funds, Ultimus helps investment managers and fund families flourish in today’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic investment landscape. For more information, visit www.ultimusfundsolutions.com.

About Kovitz

Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC, is an independently-managed registered investment advisor, providing advisory services since 2003. Based in Chicago, IL, with offices in Madison, WI and Orange County, CA, Kovitz provides investment management, wealth management, and financial planning services to individual and institutional clients. The firm manages and advises on approximately 6.8 billion in client assets as of December 31, 2022. https://www.kovitz.com/

You should carefully consider the investment objectives, potential risks, management fees, and charges and expenses of the Fund before investing. The Fund’s prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund, and should be read carefully before investing. You may obtain a current copy of the Fund’s prospectus by calling 1-888-695-3729. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Risk Considerations: ETFs are subject to specific risks, depending on the nature of the underlying strategy fund. These risks could include liquidity risk, sector risk, as well as risks associated with fixed income securities, real estate investments, and commodities, to name a few. While the shares of ETFs are tradeable on secondary markets, they may not readily trade in all market conditions and may trade at significant discounts in periods of market stress. ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, fluctuate in market value, and may trade at prices above or below the ETF’s net asset value. Brokerage commissions and ETF expenses will reduce returns. There is no guarantee the value Fund will achieve its objective. Value investing involves the risk that an investment made in undervalued securities may not appreciate in value as anticipated or remain undervalued for long periods of time.

Distributed by Northern Lights Distributors, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC). Kovitz and Northern Lights Distributors, LLC are not affiliated.

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DISCLOSURE: Information contained on this website is based on public data, historical agreements and dialogue with intermediaries. Such information represents our current understanding of the described platforms and the costs associated with them. In many cases, such costs may be negotiable. All pricing and fee information is subject to change without notice.

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