Growth in the South prompts Cumberland Advisors to open Florida office

Cumberland Advisors Inc. is following the pull of money in the Sunbelt, but it’s not leaving the Garden State.

The money-management firm based in Vineland, N.J., will open an office in Sarasota, Fla., in January.

Chief investment officer David R. Kotok, who co-founded the firm in Cumberland County in 1973, will be based in Sarasota along with about 10 other employees, said spokesman Michael McNiven.

In a statement, Cumberland Advisors stressed that it was not leaving New Jersey “contrary to media reports.” On the Bloomberg Surveillance radio program Tuesday morning, guest host Christopher Whalen, of Institutional Risk Analytics, said that Cumberland Advisors was moving out of New Jersey.

That comment prompted the firm, which employs 25 people, to issue a statement announcing its new Florida office and clarifying the status of its Vineland office.

McNiven, an investment adviser representative, said portfolio managers John Mousseau and Peter Demirali will continue to operate the tax-free and taxable bond practices from Vineland.

Kotok and other Cumberland pros are frequent guests on cable financial-news channels and other media outlets. Kotok has been a key part of the programs run by the Global Interdependence Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit that focuses on economic stability and free-trade issues.

Cumberland Advisors has grown since it was sold to Kotok by Harleysville National Corp. in 2005. Its assets under management are currently $1.3 billion, up from $700 million as of June 30, 2005.

The firm said it has added a growing number of clients in the Southeast over the last two years. That’s why it felt the need for an office in that region, McNiven said.

Cumberland, he said, remains “rooted and originated” in New Jersey.

Quotable

With capex and new business volume continuing to lag, it is expense control and portfolio management that are driving bottom-line performance.

- Steve Grosso, president and chief operating officer of CoActiv Capital Partners Inc., a Horsham equipment leasing firm, noting that weak capital expenditures contributed to a 33 percent decline in new business volume industrywide in October compared with 2008.

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