Case Study

Aquinas Funds

Aquinas was formed in 1993 and registered as an investment adviser to serve as investment manager of The Aquinas Funds, Inc., a diversified open-end mutual fund company. Located in Dallas, Texas, Aquinas was a socially responsible investment manager.

In 2003, Aquinas Investment Advisers, Inc. and its owner, the Catholic Foundation, decided that it was in the best interests of the Foundation and the Funds' investors to seek out a larger, more established fund management company to help further grow the assets under management. Given the socially responsible investment focus and that a significant portion of the Funds were Foundation assets, Aquinas and the Foundation wanted to also ensure that any buyer of the company would continue with the socially responsible strategy in addition to being a good steward of the Foundation's assets.

In 2004, the Foundation contacted Aspen about handling the potential sale of the Aquinas. Upon hiring Aspen, the Foundation, Aquinas and Aspen teams developed detailed sale parameters, given the various constituencies, and a Confidential Information Memorandum that outlined the existing and future state of the business. Once this information was completed, Aspen approached several strategic buyers on a confidential basis to assess potential terms and conditions. During this process, Aspen was required to secure the approval of the Foundation, Aquinas, and the Funds' respective Board of Directors while structuring a transaction that met the needs of each group.

After receiving several proposals, the Foundation decided to sell Aquinas to Luther King Capital Management. By partnering with Aspen on this transaction, our client was able to not only generate liquidity for the Foundation, but more importantly secure a larger, more established fund company to manage the assets in a socially responsible way.

We view this transaction as a prime example of our ability to address our client's specific goals and objectives by finding the right strategic partner for the company.