Barings is an investment management firm that’s headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.The firm works with institutional clients, including banking and thrift institutions, investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and foreign official institutions and corporations.
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Barings can trace its history back to 1940, when its earliest predecessor firms were formed. The firm is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, which is commonly known as MassMutual. Today, the firm is led by chairman and CEO Mike Freno and president Eric Lloyd.
Barings Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
The most common clients of Barings are pooled investment vehicles, insurance companies, investment companies, endowments, hedge funds, pension and profit-sharing plans and corporations. However, the firm also works with a handful of banks, business development companies, charitable organizations and sovereign wealth funds.
Rather than institute a single minimum on a firm-wide basis, Barings, LLC has different requirements for different account types. For individually managed institutional accounts, the firm calls for anywhere from a $50 million to $100 million investment.
Services Offered by Barings
Barings offers a range of financial services, including:
- Fixed-income strategy management
- Involves five teams focused on different sectors of the bond market
- Public equity strategy management
- Alternative investment strategy management
- Multiple teams working in markets like real estate, funds and co-investments and private equity/real assets
- Mortgage loan servicing
Barings Investment Philosophy
Regardless of the strategy Barings is employing, the firm adheres to an investment approach that combines “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches. More specifically, top-down refers to the firm’s macroeconomic view, whereas bottom-up is centered around fundamental analysis and security selection. In the end, the firm seeks to "consistently provide positive excess returns, regardless of where markets are in the economic cycle,” according to its Form ADV.
Barings invests in a wide range of securities. These include U.S. government and agency securities, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, money market securities, commercial paper, equities, alternative investments, forward contracts, futures contracts, structured notes, indexed securities and more.
Fees Under Barings
The fee schedule at Barings varies depending on the type of services the client subscribes to. For the most part, Barings bills clients by invoice on a quarterly basis, in arrears. Fees are based on the quarter-end market value of their account. In some cases, fee rates may be negotiable.
What to Watch Out For
There are 11 disclosures listed on Barings’ Form ADV. Each of these are attributed to an advisory affiliate, which in this case is MassMutual, its parent company.
In some cases, Barings may earn performance-based fees. According to its Form ADV, the firm “has a potential conflict of interest as it has an incentive to recommend riskier or more speculative investments for accounts in which it receives a performance fee than investments that would be recommended under a different fee arrangement.” Even with these performance-based fees, the firm abides by fiduciary duty. This legally binds it to act in clients’ best interests at all times.
Opening an Account With Barings
If you wish to learn more about Barings, you can reach the firm over the phone at (877) 766-0014 or by email at email@example.com.
Tips for Your Investment Portfolio
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All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.