The publicly traded firm uses a multimanager approach. It fully owns all but one of its 13 affiliated asset managers and also uses subadvisors. Since 2020, it purchased five affiliates, expanding its alternative offerings through its 2021 Westchester Capital Management acquisition. It also entered an agreement to buy quant alternatives manager AlphaSimplex, with an expected close in early 2023. Affiliates appreciate Virtus' distribution and back-office strength, while enjoying investment autonomy. Some of its managers are strong, such as Kayne Anderson Rudnick, which constitutes roughly 30% of Virtus' assets under management.
In 2022, Virtus was forced to find new management for 17 of its funds that were subadvised by Allianz Global Investors, following the SEC disqualification of AGI from providing advisory services to U.S.-registered funds for 10 years. While Virtus had no connection to the AGI strategies at the center of the investigation, it had to find new management for the AGI subadvised funds within 90 days. Virtus maintained some portfolio managers who moved firms, but they hired affiliates for most of the mandates. Some were natural fits, but others were questionable, such as those on Virtus Global Allocation. Meanwhile, Virtus has merged or liquidated a number of funds, and its fees tend to be above average.