Former Commodities Corporation Alums Launch Witherspoon Asset Management

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Firm Starts Managed Futures Mutual Fund

Three veteran investment professionals have teamed up to form Witherspoon Asset Management LLC (“Witherspoon”), a Princeton-based investment adviser. Witherspoon’s principals are Lee Gladden as CEO, Thomas Kuntz, CFA as Chief Operating Officer, and Tyler Vernon as Managing Director. Both Gladden and Kuntz share a background from Commodities Corporation.

Witherspoon’s first offering is the Witherspoon Managed Futures Strategy Fund (ticker: CTAAX, CTAIX). The fund is designed for investors seeking non-correlated investments that also provide transparency and daily liquidity.

The firm’s strategic approach to managed futures provides an alternative to funds already in the ’40 Act space. Witherspoon focuses on finding tactical specialists who may add alpha, offer unique niche trading skills, and have low correlation to each other. Most importantly, Witherspoon searches for discretionary Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) who have demonstrated the ability to navigate the futures markets in a manner that minimizes volatility yet successfully delivers alpha. The fund provides a multi-advisor portfolio with a tactical weighting of 75 percent to these discretionary and tactical specialists, and a 25 percent weighting towards systematic trend followers.

Witherspoon’s new fund is now available to registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) and retail investors through several major platforms.

The fund’s initial investor, Brinker Capital, Inc. likes the method employed by the Witherspoon Managed Futures Strategy Fund. Bill Miller, CIO of Brinker Capital, Inc., explains. “We believe that the Witherspoon Fund is taking the right approach to managed futures. The Commodities Corporation history and strategy embodied in it means a lot to us. We think the new fund is well positioned to meet its investment objectives.” Brinker Capital, Inc. is a leading independent RIA with $13 billion in assets as of December 2012.

Witherspoon CEO Gladden agrees with Miller’s assessment: “The most obvious differentiation in our portfolio comes from the low correlations among our CTAs. Because they are using different strategies in different markets, they give us the potential for more consistent performance under most market conditions. Even in the past few years, with choppy markets and the volatility caused by what has been characterized as “risk on, risk off” behavior, most of the managers in our fund have been profitable and have maintained a low correlation to each other.” However, past performance does not guarantee future results.

Witherspoon has additional managed futures expertise at hand with their Advisory Board, comprising F. Helmut Weymar, one of the founders and former Chairman and CEO of Commodities Corporation, M. Roch Hillenbrand, former President of Commodities Corporation (and later of Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies Group, which bought Commodities Corporation in 1997), and Scott Sipprelle, former Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and an active investor in the alternatives space.

Hillenbrand states: “I am encouraged to see the portfolio strategy that we employed successfully for so many years at Commodities Corporation can now be implemented in a mutual fund format. This structure provides individual investors with access to a truly diversified portfolio of CTAs with daily liquidity and the convenience of a mutual fund.”

About Witherspoon Asset Management:
Based in Princeton, NJ, Witherspoon Asset Management’s team also includes former Commodities Corporation alumni in research, portfolio construction, and marketing with Paul Morin, Marcia Podsiadlo, and Diane Harrison. The firm’s team provides a new alternative for wealth management firms seeking to gain access to managed futures for their client portfolios. For more information on Witherspoon Asset Management and its offerings, please visit

CONTACT: Joe Anthony for Witherspoon Asset Management at 610-228-2095 or joea(at)gregoryfca(dot)com.

Discretionary Specialists – Strategies that rely upon decision-based trading, whereby a trader uses experience and judgment to decide which security to trade, whether to buy or sell, and to determine the size and timing of the transaction.

Tactical specialists – Traders who employ a distinctive trading approach or method, usually to a limited set of related markets (e.g. grains, precious metals, energy, etc.).

Systematic Trend-Following – Trading strategies that attempt to capture gains through the analysis of a security’s momentum in a particular direction. A trend follower generally enters into a long position when a security is trending upward (successively higher highs). Conversely, a trend follower generally enters into a short position when the security is in a down trend (successively lower highs).

Investing in the commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. There is a risk that issuers and counterparties will not make payments on securities and other investments held by the Fund, resulting in losses to the Fund. Derivative instruments involve risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments. In general, the price of a fixed income security falls when interest rates rise. There is a risk that a swap contract may not be assigned without the consent of the counter-party, and may result in losses.

The value of a specific security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. Using derivatives to increase the Underlying Pools’ combined long and short exposure creates leverage, which can magnify the Underlying Pools’ potential for gain or loss and, therefore, amplify the effects of market volatility on the Underlying Pools’ share price. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments of the Fund would be difficult to purchase or sell, possibly preventing the Fund from selling such illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price.

Short positions may be considered speculative transactions and involve special risks, including greater reliance on the Advisor’s or an underlying portfolio manager’s ability to accurately anticipate the future value of a security or instrument. Because a relatively high percentage of the assets of the Fund may be invested in the securities of a limited number of issuers, the value of shares of the Fund may be more sensitive to any single economic, business, political or regulatory occurrence than the value of shares of a diversified investment company. The Fund has filed with the National Futures Association, a notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of a “commodity pool operator.” Recent regulatory changes will no longer allow the Advisor to claim this exclusion. Compliance with the CFTC requirements will likely increase the costs associated with the Fund.

Certain of the Fund’s investment strategies, including transactions in options and futures contracts, may be subject to the special tax rules, the effect of which may have adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Underlying Pools are subject to investment advisory and other expenses, which will be indirectly paid by the Fund. As a result, the cost of investing in the Fund will be higher than the cost of investing directly in an Underlying Pool. There is no guarantee that any of the trading strategies used by the managers retained by an Underlying Pool will be profitable or avoid losses.

The Subsidiary will not be registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“1940 Act”) and, unless otherwise noted in the Prospectus, will not be subject to all of the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Due to tax requirements, a significant portion of the Fund’s assets will be invested in short-term interest rate instruments or securities. Past performance does not guarantee future results, there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will achieve its objectives, generate profits, or avoid losses.

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Witherspoon Managed Futures Strategy Fund. This and other important information about the Fund is contained in the prospectus, which can be obtained by calling 877-239-4121. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing. The Witherspoon Managed Futures Strategy Fund is distributed by Northern Lights Distributors, LLC member FINRA. Witherspoon Asset Management LLC is not affiliated with Northern Lights Distributors, LLC.


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