Veracen says it will hire 60+ at Berwyn fund group

Veracen, the Berwyn investment company headed by investor Michael Kennedy, says it has inked a partnership with France-based Linedata Services SA, a publicly-held software and services company, to set up “co-development of end-to-end financial technology solutions” and market it to clients worldwide.

“The operations and technology center will be located in Berwyn, and the plan is to employ 60 to 90 people within 18 to 24 months,” said Michael Herley, a spokesman for Veracen.

The partners plan to offer “customized portfolio management tools and analytics, incorporating a unified data set from the investment decision through to performance and risk analytics, as well as the tracking of third-party managed accounts in a single, unified control environment” for uniform reporting, according to a Veracen statement. Linedata business development head Mike de Verteuil promised “a complete front-to-back platform integrating all applications required by a large asset manager, at a significantly lower cost” compared to less flexible, “costly legacy systems.”

The partners didn’t name any initial clients. “We are currently in discussions” with investors and tech companies, said Veracen’s Kennedy in a statement.

The partners said they have been testing the Veracen Linedata platform in “beta” form at Turner Investments website. The Turner funds, founded by Robert Turner, combined with Veracen last year.

The Turner group grew to $30 billion in assets in the early 2000s, but languished in the bear markets of the dot.com bust and the 2008 financial crisis. The company’s asset base was down more than 95 percent and many of its longtime investment managers had departed when it joined Veracen. Turner fund trustees in June voted to wind down its existing Midcap Growth, Smallcap Growth, and Titan Long/Short mutual funds.

The company has been working over the past year to set up its own exchange-traded funds. “Veracen will be announcing a transaction with a leading innovator of ETFs and [Unit Investment Trusts] over the next several days,” said spokesman Herley.

Turner has also served as chairman of Mozido, a company founded by Maine- and Florida-based investor Michael Liberty, which says it is developing a smartphone-based global payments network. That start-up is backed by Wellington Management Co. and other large investors. Liberty was sentenced Aug. 10 to four months in prison, a year’s probation, and a $100,000 fine for illegal campaign contributions to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. The Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to collect more than $5 million it says Liberty owes pension plans for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and parts of New England for improper and money-losing investments in the early 2000s.