Dallas, Texas – USA Mutuals Advisors named a new portfolio management team for VICEX, the newly branded Vitium Global Fund, formerly Vice Fund, effective immediately.
Charles Norton and Jeff Helfrich bring nearly 40 years of combined investment management experience to the fund. Norton previously served as portfolio manager of the fund from 2005-2010.
It was also announced that Vice Fund has changed its name to Vitium Global Fund. Vitium, the Latin word for vice, is a nod to the ancient and enduring features of the industries we focus on: global beverages, defense, casino gaming and tobacco. The new name also is reflective of the global nature of these businesses, and at least 40% of the portfolio will be invested outside the U.S. to capitalize on opportunities around the world. The VICEX ticker symbol will remain the same.
“Today marks a new chapter in the 17-year history of this fund. We are excited about the new branding that better reflects the global and historic nature of our sector focus,” said Jeff Bottom, president of USA Mutuals. “We are also delighted to have these two high-quality portfolio managers take over management of the fund. They bring a wealth of experience in alternative and traditional portfolio management, and we look forward to their stewardship of this one-of-a-kind fund.”
Norton noted that, “Jeff and I are thrilled to be involved with the Vitium Global Fund. We believe the fund is a unique offering supported by significant academic research that demonstrates that its global areas of focus tend to be avoided to such an extent that they are structurally underpriced. This creates a big opportunity to earn a return premium, and we hope to capitalize on this mispricing.”
Vitium Global Fund has some attractive characteristics:
- Holdings that are in high-barriers-to-entries industries
- Global industries that have been around for centuries
- Significant cash flow generators with attractive dividends
- Steady, economically resilient demand around the world
- Exclusion from many portfolios which creates inherent value
Norton & Helfrich
In addition to his duties as Vitium Global Fund co-manager, Charles Norton serves as a portfolio manager at Penn Davis McFarland, a Dallas-based registered investment advisor. Previously, Norton managed global multi-asset class portfolios as a senior portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Private Bank, where he also served as a senior analyst on the national equity research team covering consumer stocks. Norton was also a founding principal of a long/short equity investment management firm, where he was responsible for portfolio management and investment research for all of the company’s managed assets. He started his career as an analyst at a NYC-based hedge fund firm and a health care investment banker at Smith Barney. Norton is a CFA charterholder and holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
Jeff Helfrich, Vitium Global Fund co-manager, also serves as a portfolio manager at Penn Davis McFarland. Previously, he was a research analyst for a multi-billion-dollar family office in Dallas, investing in debt and equity. He has been a global equity research analyst with Janus Capital Group and Independence Capital Asset Partners, LLC in Denver. Helfrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an AB in Economics and is a CFA charterholder.
About USA Mutuals, Inc.: With a history spanning three decades, USA Mutuals has long been a provider of alternative investment strategies to both the institutional and retail marketplaces. Originally founded in 1994, as a separate accounts manager, which converted into a public trust in 2001, the company launched with a simple mandate: Create an environment in which the company’s goals and expectations are truly aligned with our investors. Vitium Global Fund is an open-end mutual fund that invests in the global beverages, defense, casino gaming and tobacco sectors. The Navigator Fund employs a discretionary trading strategy which attempts to tactically allocate exposure levels in the U.S. stock market with a portfolio of long and short equity stock index futures.