The master-feeder structure can give you an immense amount of flexibility to really leverage pools of assets with single investment objectives.
In the old days, you would have to bring up separate portfolios for each one of four or five market segments that have distinctive pricing considerations and distinctive marketing.
This can be expensive. With the master-feeder structure, you can pool that into one portfolio.
If you look at our product mix in the years to come you'll probably still see a combination of series funds, classes of shares, and master-feeder.
However in looking at retail marketplaces, whether those segments are domestic or international, the master-feeder onshore-offshore configuration is a very attractive way to deliver products to the marketplace.
Hub-and-spoke is relatively new, so it is tough to make any clear, intelligent decisions here.
When you look at the current structure, you have mutual fund families with classes. The problem with the classes is that it takes away a lot of flexibility with advertising, communications, and even how you run the whole fund family.
The beauty of hub-and-spoke is that at the hub you have core funds and the same board of directors for every fund. instead of classes, you have separate fund families.
An important consideration is that hub-and-spoke represents a big expense up front.
The key question is: Can that expense be justified bY the added marketing flexibility and the ability to target fund families as a stand-alone unit at specific markets?
The jury is still out on that one.
Hub-and-spoke offers one possible way to expand, but I don't think it necessarily offers the bank as much flexibility as maybe using subadvisers does.
Let's say you've got five or six banks out there who are using the hub, and each of you are spokes. It would be like having the managers working for all of you.
With a subadviser, the manager is just working for you. My sense is that with a subadviser relationship, you might have more input with the manager and the flexibility to have the type of management that you are specifically looking for in your particular fund.
But I do feel the hub-and-spoke is probably preferable to a situation where you are selling a lot of different outside funds.