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Barings, LLC Review

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Barings, LLC

Barings, LLC is an investment management firm that’s headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The firm is massive, employing nearly 540 financial advisors who oversee $246.8 billion in client assets under management (AUM).

All of Barings’ clients are of an institutional nature, with a client base comprised of pooled investment vehicles, insurance companies, retirement plans, businesses and more. If you’re an individual looking for a financial advisor, try our advisor matching tool to find options in your area.

As a fee-only firm, Barings earns compensation solely from fees that clients pay. This is distinctly different from a fee-based firm, which receives income from outside sources, like insurance commissions.

Barings, LLC Background

Barings, LLC 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 Tom Finke and chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO) and head of global investment services Paul Thompson.

What Types of Clients Does Barings, LLC Accept?

The most common clients of Barings, LLC are pooled investment vehicles, insurance companies, investment companies, endowments, government agencies, 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.

Barings does not work with individuals, either with or without a high net worth.

Barings, LLC Minimum Account Size

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. To take advantage of the firm’s commingled investment vehicles within a few of its strategies, you’ll need to invest up to $5 million.

Services Offered by Barings, LLC

Barings, LLC 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, LLC 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, LLC

The fee schedule at Barings, LLC 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.

Investment Fees
Program/Strategy Fee Rates
Investment grade institutional strategies 0.11% - 0.25%
High-yield institutional strategies 0.375% - 0.50%
Equity investment services 0.35% - 1.50%
Public real estate debt security services 0.10% - 0.30%
Investment advice 0.25% - 0.65%

What to Watch Out For

In some cases, Barings, LLC 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.

Disclosures

There are eight disclosures listed on Barings’ Form ADV. However, each of these are attributed to an advisory affiliate, which in this case is MassMutual, its parent company.

Opening an Account With Barings, LLC

If you wish to learn more about Barings, LLC, you can reach the firm over the phone at (877) 766-0014 or by email at info@barings.com.

Where Is Barings, LLC Located?

Although Barings’ principal office is in Charlotte, North Carolina, it operates other locations throughout the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, China, Japan and South Korea.

Tips for Your Investment Portfolio

  • Before you invest your hard-earned money in the market, a financial advisor might be worth looking into. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • One of the most important things to remember about investing is that you’ll need to pay taxes on your returns. This is called the capital gains tax. If you’re unsure of what to expect from these IRS charges, try SmartAsset’s capital gains tax calculator.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research