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Red Cedar hires former ClearArc team members, relocates HQ to Grand Rapids

BY Friday, April 12, 2019 10:29am

GRAND RAPIDS — Red Cedar Investment Management LLC has relocated to Grand Rapids after landing a veteran investment team that has ambitious growth plans for the firm.

Along with the headquarters move from East Lansing, Red Cedar hired investment professionals formerly with ClearArc Capital, a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp Inc. that shut down parts of the business in late 2018 after exiting niche areas of the wealth management industry.

John Cassady, chief investment officer at Red Cedar Investment Management

Formed in 2013 to serve institutional clients such as endowments, foundations and pension funds, Red Cedar kept its office in the Lansing area and also opened a location in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We are excited for the opportunity to add an experienced group of professionals that have worked together successfully for 15 years to the Red Cedar team,” said President Mike Gilmore. “Their track record of success provides a platform for future growth and allows our firm to focus on developing long-term partnerships with our clients.”

Chief Investment Officer John Cassady, based in Grand Rapids, and Director of Portfolio Management David Withrow, in Cincinnati, lead the investment team. Cassady and Withrow were joined in the move from ClearArc to Red Cedar by Senior Portfolio Managers Jason Schwartz, Michael Martin and Patricia Younker, plus Director of Sales and Marketing Michael Feldhaus.

The former ClearArc staff made the move after Cassady reached out to Gilmore late last year. Cassady and Gilmore have been friends for several years. Gilmore on occasion had asked if Cassady was interested in moving to Red Cedar.

“We got to late last year and I reached out to him and said, ‘You know, the timing might be right on this and, by the way, how would you feel if I brought over a team of investment professionals with me?’” Cassady said. “We can manage all of this money in-house and from here take it to the next level and go out after other outside clients.”

Red Cedar’s downtown Grand Rapids headquarters opened in December. The investment advisory firm this week publicly announced the opening and hiring of the investment team. The firm also intends to hire additional staff, Cassady said.

The move to Red Cedar was “driven by our desire to keep the team together and continue with the investment strategies we have developed over the last 15 years,” he said.

A subsidiary of Delta Dental of Michigan and Ohio, Red Cedar presently has $1.3 billion in assets under management. Cassady hopes Red Cedar can more than double or triple assets under management within a few years.

“We have pretty ambitious growth plans,” he said. “Together, the team that came over here, we’ve been together for 15 years. Over that 15-year timeframe, we’ve all made a lot of great contacts. Our intention is to grow this firm and grow assets under management.”

Growth plans include forming two mutual funds by the end of 2019, one for short-term bonds and the other for preferred securities, Cassady said.

“Both of those are right in our wheelhouse in terms of the expertise that came on board here,” he said.

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