It’s a challenge that’s normally only faced by new non-bank owned money managers: determine a name for the entity that conveys the meaning of the business at hand. And in an era where brands are king, the name has to be both available and memorable and one that catches the attention of potential clients.

This week the gang who previously managed the diversified asset business at Sprott Asset Management (SAM) released the results of their work: Ninepoint Partners LP is the new name for the firm that oversees the management of about $3 billion of assets. A name change was required because the management team bought the business, which focuses on alternative income, real assets, and diversified core strategies, from SAM.

So why that name? John Wilson, a managing partner, said the handle derived from solving a nine-point puzzle: using four strokes to connect nine dots on a three-by-three grid. The only way to solve the brainteaser is to draw lines that connect outside the box. Readers can try on their own and if they can’t achieve success, there’s an explanation on the manager’s website.

Wilson, who trained as an electrical engineer, said the name also reflects what the new management team is trying to achieve and the attributes of the products being offered. “We are about developing new and innovative strategies, not bringing strategies that others are already running, or what’s available in the ETF market.”

Accordingly, Ninepoint will operate in that part of the market that’s broader, more passive, and at low cost, with “an allocation to alternatives to diversify risk in return streams,” Wilson said. To achieve that objective “we try and go outside the box and not get trapped into looking at things the same way that others do,” he said, noting a brand can only go so far. “A great brand is defined by a business that is well run. That’s what makes your brand.”

Merged entity

The second example of a new, out of the box name, plays out Friday in Calgary when LOGiQ Asset Management holds its first annual meeting. The company is the combination of Front Street, Tuscarora Capital and Aston Hill Financial.

Joe Canavan, chief executive of the merged entity, said the name reflects, “logical, intelligent investing,” with the name picked to indicate the firm’s focus on “specialized yield investing, specialized equity investing and alternatives. That’s the right name.”

Since then LOGiQ has narrowed its focus to the institutional market by announcing the sale of its retail unit to Purpose Investments.

LOGiQ is the second manager named by Canavan: earlier he selected Synergy Asset Management, “because we had value, growth, momentum, small cap and a product to blend them all together synergistically,” he said.

The name for the country’s newest ETF provider, Evolve Funds, also wasn’t chosen randomly. Raj Lala, chief executive, said the name evolved from the evolution of the retail investment industry where ETFs now command a larger share.

The moniker was also chosen because of “the types of products we are offering, the under-served and the under-serviced. Mutual funds are like CDs but ETFs are likely Spotify, cheaper and more flexible.”

In a different era, Lala along with his partners chose Propel Capital as a manager focused of closed-end funds, a business that’s largely moribund.

Purpose Investments is another relatively new manager whose name has been carefully selected. “We have designed each product to have a purpose — to meet a specific goal and to play a role in building the most resilient portfolios for you,” said a note on its website.

Financial Post

bcritchley@postmedia.com