The firm suffered a setback when Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide’s investment management group, left the firm unexpectedly in September 2022. This was just as the investment group stabilized following a 2016 team relocation that resulted in turnover across portfolio managers, manager selectors, and supporting staff.
CIO Chris Graham remains at the firm, though, and his impact has been tangible: Since 2016, Graham and his team have expanded the number of subadvisors it uses to 20 from 14, while adding ETFs and liquid-alternatives funds. Over this period, the firm culled redundant offerings, resulting in 24 merged and liquidated funds. Strategies from new subadvisors, such as four of the eight ETFs launched, focused on managed risk. The firm currently offers 52 funds and maintains long-term relationships with many well-established asset managers, but it also doesn’t shy away from engaging smaller, less tested subadvisors in order to meet a niche client demand. For example, BlackRock serves as a subadvisor alongside Harvest Volatility, which was chosen to run income-oriented, option-writing strategies.
Following its many changes, this mostly straightforward lineup is more sensible, though fees remain average here on the whole.