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Bloomberg: Forbes Family Trust, LGL Buy $2 Billion Fund Manager Optima

FWM Holdings, the parent company of multi-family offices Forbes Family Trust and LGL Partners, agreed to buy Optima Fund Management, an early fund-of-funds player with $2 billion in assets.

Founder Dixon Boardman will remain as Optima’s chief executive officer and join FFT as vice chairman, according to a statement Thursday that didn’t include terms. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

“A lot of people have been moving away from hedge funds,” said Keith Bloomfield, CEO of FWM Holdings and FFT. “We think they’ll start outperforming as the markets become more volatile."

Hedge funds had their best quarter since 2010 after taking a beating last year, while the pace of investor withdrawals slowed from the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. The revival has brought back institutional investors as they seek market-beating returns and diversification, according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. survey. About a third of respondents said they planned to boost allocations in 2019, up from 15 percent in 2018.

“Some of the most clever people run hedge funds and they have not stopped being clever,” said Boardman, who started Optima in 1988. “Clever people do not become stupid overnight.”

FFT and LGL, with more than $5 billion of combined assets under management, focus on ultra-high-net-worth families with investable assets of $20 million or more. FFT licenses the Forbes name and manages money for some Forbes family members. A predecessor to LGL originally oversaw investments and philanthropy for the Lenfest family.