10-K 1 vctr-20181231x10k.htm 10-K vctr_Current_Folio_10K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

Form 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018

 

 

OR

 

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                                TO

 

Commission file number: 001-38388

 


 

Victory Capital Holdings, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

32-0402956

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

 

 

4900 Tiedeman Road 4th Floor Brooklyn, OH
(Address of principal executive offices)

44144
(Zip Code)

 

(216) 898-2400

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value

    

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

(Title of each class)

 

(Name of each exchange on which registered)

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes     No

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes     No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes     No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes     No

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller reporting company 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange  Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes     No

 

The aggregate market value of Class A common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at June 29, 2018, which was the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $132,343,390 based on the closing price of $10.58 for one share of Class A common stock, as reported on NASDAQ on that date. For purposes of this calculation only, it is assumed that the affiliates of the registrant include the executive officers, directors and those holding 10 percent or more of the registrant’s common stock.

 

The number of outstanding shares of the registrant's Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, as of February 28, 2019 was 14,555,975 and 52,940,026, respectively.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement to be delivered to shareholders in connection with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on or about May 1, 2019 are incorporated by reference into Part III.

 

 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

PART I

Item 1. 

Business

7

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

27

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

51

Item 2. 

Properties

51

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

51

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

51

PART II 

Item 5. 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

52

Item 6. 

Selected Financial Data

53

Item 7. 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

54

Item 7A. 

Qualitative and Quantitative Disclosures Regarding Market Risk

81

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

83

Item 9. 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

125

Item 9A. 

Controls and Procedures

125

Item 9B. 

Other Information

126

PART III 

Item 10. 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

127

Item 11. 

Executive Compensation

127

Item 12. 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

127

Item 13. 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

127

Item 14. 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

127

PART IV 

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

128

Item 16. 

Form 10‑K Summary

128

 

Signatures

 

 

Our design logos and the marks “Victory Capital,” “Victory Capital Management,” “Victory Capital Advisers,” “Victory Funds,” “VictoryShares,” “Victory Connect,” “CEMP,” “CEMP Volatility Weighted Indexes,” “Diversified,” “Diversified Equity Management,” “Expedition Investment Partners,” “INCORE Capital Management,” “Integrity,” “Integrity Asset Management,” “Munder,” “Munder Capital Management,” “The Munder Funds,” “NewBridge,” “NewBridge Asset Management,” “RS Funds,” “RS Investments,” “Sophus Capital,” “Sycamore Capital” and “Trivalent Investments,” are owned by us or one of our subsidiaries. All other trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this report are the property of their respective owners.

In this report, when we refer to:

·

the “2014 Credit Agreement,” we are referring to the credit agreement dated as of October 31, 2014 (as amended);

·

“CEMP,” we are referring to Compass Efficient Model Portfolios, LLC;

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·

the “CEMP Acquisition,” we are referring to our acquisition of the CEMP business in 2015;

·

“Cerebellum,” we are referring to Cerebellum Capital, LLC;

·

“Crestview,” we are referring to Crestview Advisors, L.L.C.;

·

“Crestview GP,” we are referring to Crestview Partners II GP, L.P.;

·

“Crestview Victory,” we are referring to Crestview Victory, L.P.;

·

“ETFs,” we are referring to exchange traded funds;

·

the “Existing Credit Agreement,” we are referring to the credit agreement dated as of February 12, 2018 (as amended from time to time);

·

“Harvest,” we are referring to Harvest Volatility Management, LLC;

·

the “Harvest Acquisition,” we are referring to our pending acquisition of Harvest;

·

the “Harvest Commitment Letter,” we are referring to the amended and restated commitment letter we entered into on September 21, 2018 (as amended from time to time) with Royal Bank of Canada and Barclays Bank PLC;

·

the “Harvest Purchase Agreement,” we are referring to the purchase agreement entered into on September 21, 2018 between the Company, Harvest, the members of Harvest listed on Annex A thereto (collectively the “Members”), Curtis Brockelman, Jr. and LPC Harvest, LP, each solely in their joint capacity as Members’ Representative, to purchase 100% of the outstanding equity interests of Harvest;

·

“IPO,” we are referring to the initial public offering of Class A common stock of Victory Capital Holdings, Inc.;

·

“Munder,” we are referring to our Munder Capital Management Franchise;

·

the “Munder Acquisition,” we are referring to our acquisition of Munder Capital in 2014;

·

“Munder Capital,” we are referring to Munder Capital Management;

·

the “RS Acquisition,” we are referring to our acquisition of RS Investments in 2016;

·

“RS Investments,” we are referring to RS Investment Management Co. LLC;

·

“Reverence Capital,” we are referring to Reverence Capital Partners, LP;

·

the “USAA AMCO Acquisition,” we are referring to our pending acquisition of USAA Asset Management Company and its mutual fund and ETF businesses and USAA 529 College Savings Plan and USAA Transfer Agency Company d/b/a USAA Shareholder Account Services pursuant to the USAA Stock Purchase Agreement;

3


 

·

the “USAA AMCO Credit Facilities Commitment Letter,” we are referring to the commitment letter we entered into on November 6, 2018 (as amended from time to time) with Barclays Bank PLC and Royal Bank of Canada;

·

the “USAA Stock Purchase Agreement,” we are referring to the stock purchase agreement entered into on November 6, 2018 between the Company, USAA Investment Corporation, and, for certain limited purposes, USAA Capital Corporation and its mutual fund and ETF businesses and USAA 529 College Savings Plan to purchase 100% of the outstanding common stock of USAA Asset Management Company and USAA Transfer Agency Company d/b/a USAA Shareholder Account Services (each a “USAA Acquired Company” and collectively, the “USAA Acquired Companies”);

·

“VCA,” we are referring to Victory Capital Advisers, Inc., our broker dealer subsidiary registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission;

·

“VCM,” we are referring to Victory Capital Management Inc., our wholly owned registered investment adviser;

·

“Victory,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us,” we are referring to Victory Capital Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, except where otherwise stated or where it is clear that the term means only Victory Capital Holdings, Inc. exclusive of its subsidiaries;

·

the “Victory Funds,” we are referring to the Victory Portfolios, Victory Variable Insurance Funds, Victory Institutional Funds and the mutual fund series of Victory Portfolio II, a family of open-end mutual funds; and

·

“VictoryShares,” we are referring to Victory’s ETF brand.

In this report, we rely on and refer to certain market and industry data and forecasts related thereto. We obtained this information and these statistics from sources other than us, which we have supplemented where necessary with information from publicly available sources and our own internal estimates. We use these sources and estimates and believe them to be reliable, but we cannot give any assurance that any of the projected results will be achieved.

Forward‑Looking Statements

This report includes forward‑looking statements, including in the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business.” These forward‑looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding our industry, business strategy, plans, goals and expectations concerning our market position, future operations, margins, profitability, future efficiencies, capital expenditures, liquidity and capital resources and other financial and operating information. When used in this discussion, the words “may,” “believes,” “intends,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “expects,” “should,” “assumes,” “continues,” “could,” “will,” “future” and the negative of these or similar terms and phrases are intended to identify forward‑looking statements in this report.

Forward‑looking statements reflect our current expectations regarding future events, results or outcomes. These expectations may or may not be realized. Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward‑looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. Some of these expectations may be based upon assumptions, data or judgments that prove to be incorrect. Actual events, results and outcomes may differ materially from our expectations due to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Although it is not possible to identify all of these risks and factors, they include, among others, the following:

·

reductions in AUM based on investment performance, client withdrawals, difficult market conditions and other factors;

4


 

·

the nature of our contracts and investment advisory agreements;

·

our ability to maintain historical returns and sustain our historical growth;

·

our dependence on third parties to market our strategies and provide products or services for the operation of our business;

·

our ability to retain key investment professionals or members of our senior management team;

·

our reliance on the technology systems supporting our operations;

·

our ability to successfully acquire and integrate new companies;

·

the concentration of our investments in long only small‑  and mid‑cap equity and U.S. clients;

·

risks and uncertainties associated with non‑U.S. investments;

·

our efforts to establish and develop new teams and strategies;

·

the ability of our investment teams to identify appropriate investment opportunities;

·

our ability to limit employee misconduct;

·

our ability to meet the guidelines set by our clients;

·

our exposure to potential litigation (including administrative or tax proceedings) or regulatory actions;

·

our ability to implement effective information and cyber security policies, procedures and capabilities;

·

our substantial indebtedness;

·

the potential impairment of our goodwill and intangible assets;

·

disruption to the operations of third parties whose functions are integral to our ETF platform;

·

our determination that we are not required to register as an “investment company” under the 1940 Act;

·

the fluctuation of our expenses;

·

our ability to respond to recent trends in the investment management industry;

·

the level of regulation on investment management firms and our ability to respond to regulatory developments;

·

the competitiveness of the investment management industry;

·

the dual class structure of our common stock;

·

the level of control over us retained by Crestview GP;

5


 

·

our status as an emerging growth company and a controlled company;

·

our ability to close and integrate the Harvest and USAA AMCO acquisitions; and

·

other risks and factors listed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report.

In light of these risks, uncertainties and other factors, the forward‑looking statements contained in this report might not prove to be accurate. All forward‑looking statements speak only as of the date made and we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward‑looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Non‑GAAP Financial Measures

This report contains “non‑GAAP financial measures” that are financial measures that either exclude or include amounts that are not excluded or included in the most directly comparable measures calculated and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. Specifically, we make use of the non‑GAAP financial measures “Adjusted EBITDA” and “Adjusted Net Income.”

Adjustments we make to GAAP net income to calculate Adjusted EBITDA are:

·

We add back income tax;

·

We add back interest paid on debt and other financing costs, net of interest income;

·

We add back depreciation on property and equipment;

·

We add back other business taxes;

·

We add back amortization of acquisition‑related intangibles;

·

We add back the expense associated with share‑based compensation associated with equity issued from pools that were created in connection with our management‑led buyout with Crestview GP from KeyCorp, the Munder Acquisition and the RS Acquisition and as a result of any equity grants related to our initial public offering, or IPO;

·

We add back direct incremental costs of acquisitions and IPO, including expenses associated with third‑party advisors, proxy solicitations of mutual fund shareholders for transaction consents, vendor contract early termination costs, loss on other receivable recorded in connection with an acquisition and severance, retention and transaction incentive compensation;

·

We add back debt issuance costs;

·

We add back pre‑IPO governance expenses paid to Crestview and Reverence Capital (these payments terminated as of the completion of the IPO);

·

We adjust for earnings/losses on equity method investments; and

·

We add back annual incentive compensation paid in excess of expected levels due to acquisitions.

6


 

Adjustments we make to GAAP net income to calculate Adjusted Net Income are:

·

We add back other business taxes;

·

We add back amortization of acquisition‑related intangibles;

·

We add back the expense associated with share‑based compensation associated with equity issued from pools that were created in connection with our management‑led buyout with Crestview GP from KeyCorp, the Munder Acquisition and the RS Acquisition and as a result of any equity grants related to the IPO;

·

We add back direct incremental costs of acquisitions and IPO, including expenses associated with third‑party advisors, proxy solicitations of mutual fund shareholders for transaction consents, vendor contract early termination costs, loss on other receivable recorded in connection with an acquisition and severance, retention and transaction incentive compensation;

·

We add back debt issuance costs;

·

We add back pre‑IPO governance expenses paid to Crestview and Reverence Capital (these payments terminated as of the completion of the IPO);

·

We add back annual incentive compensation paid in excess of expected levels due to acquisitions;

·

We subtract an estimate of income tax expense on the adjustments; and

·

We subtract the impact of re‑measuring our U.S. net deferred taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on December 22, 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income are not recognized terms under GAAP and do not purport to be alternatives to net income/(loss) attributable to us as a measure of operating performance. Non‑GAAP financial measures are used to supplement GAAP results to provide a more complete understanding of the factors and trends affecting our business than GAAP results alone.

Our management uses these non‑GAAP performance measures to evaluate the underlying operations of our business. Due to our acquisitive nature, there are a number of acquisition and restructuring related expenses included in GAAP measures that we believe distort the economic value of our organization and we believe that many investors use this information when assessing the financial performance of companies in the investment management industry. We have included these non‑GAAP measures to provide investors with the same financial metrics used by management to assess the operating performance of our Company.

Non‑GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Our non‑GAAP measures may differ from similar measures at other companies, even if similar terms are used to identify these measures.

Item 1. Business

Overview

We are an independent investment management firm operating a next generation, integrated multi‑boutique model with $52.8 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Our differentiated model features a scalable operating platform that provides centralized distribution, marketing and operations infrastructure to our Franchises and Solutions Platform. As of December 31, 2018, our Franchises and our Solutions Platform collectively managed a diversified set of 71 investment strategies for a wide range of institutional and retail clients.

7


 

Our Franchises are operationally integrated but are separately branded and make investment decisions independently from one another within guidelines established by their respective investment mandates that we monitor. Our integrated multi‑boutique model creates a supportive environment in which our investment professionals, largely unencumbered by administrative and operational responsibilities, can focus on their pursuit of investment excellence. VCM employs all of our U.S. investment professionals across our Franchises, which are not separate legal entities.

Our Solutions Platform consists of multi‑Franchise and customized solutions strategies that are primarily rules‑based. We offer our Solutions Platform through a variety of vehicles, including separate accounts, mutual funds and VictoryShares which is our ETF brand. Like our Franchises, our Solutions Platform is operationally integrated and supported by our centralized distribution, marketing and operational support functions.

Our centralized key functions include distribution, marketing, trading, middle‑ and back‑office administration, legal, compliance and finance. Our integrated model aims to “centralize, not standardize.” We believe by providing our Franchises with control over their portfolio management tools, risk analytics and other investment‑related functions, we can minimize disruptions to their investment process and ensure that they are able to invest in the fashion that they find most optimal.

In addition to our integrated multi‑boutique business model, we believe there are four main attributes that differentiate us from other publicly traded investment management firms:

·

We have constructed a set of distinct investment approaches in specialized asset classes where we believe active managers are well positioned to generate alpha over a full market cycle through security selection and portfolio construction. We believe our strategies in these specialized asset classes, which we refer to as our current focus asset classes, will drive our future growth. These strategies have experienced less fee compression than strategies in more commoditized asset classes, and we believe demand for them typically exceeds capacity.

·

We have a track record of successfully sourcing, executing and integrating sizable acquisitions and making these acquisitions financially attractive by extracting significant synergies as a result of integrating the acquired entity onto our operating platform.  In addition, we have been able to expand the distribution for the products of the acquired entities through our centralized distribution platform. Our recently announced acquisitions of Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies are evidence of the appeal of our differentiated platform, combining scale and boutique qualities, making us an attractive acquirer to firms looking for a strategic partner.

·

We have a diversified business that offers a suite of active products and hybrid rules‑based products through our proprietary ETF brand, VictoryShares, across a wide range of asset classes and distinct investment approaches, to a broad and diverse group of institutional and retail clients. We offer our 71 investment strategies through nine Franchises and our Solutions Platform, with no Franchise accounting for more than 34% of total AUM as of December 31, 2018. Each of our Franchises employs a different investment approach, which we believe leads to diversification in investment return streams among Franchises, even when asset classes overlap. These factors also mitigate key man risk.

·

We foster a culture that encourages long‑term thinking through promoting meaningful employee ownership. We have a high degree of employee ownership, with approximately 82% of our employees beneficially owning approximately 27% of our shares as of December 31, 2018. Many of such employees have purchased their equity interests in our firm. In addition, as of December 31, 2018 our current and former employees have collectively invested approximately $100 million in products we manage, directly aligning their investment outcomes with those of our clients.

Since our management‑led buyout with Crestview GP from KeyCorp in August 2013, we have completed three acquisitions and a strategic minority investment and grown our AUM from $17.9 billion to $52.8 billion as of

8


 

December 31, 2018. In addition, in the third quarter of 2018, the Company entered into an agreement to purchase Harvest and, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company entered into an agreement to purchase the USAA Acquired Companies. We regularly evaluate potential acquisition candidates and maintain a strong network of industry participants and advisors that provide opportunities to establish potential target relationships and source transactions. Our management leads and participates in our acquisition strategy, leveraging their many years of experience actively operating our Company on a day‑to‑day basis towards successfully sourcing, executing and integrating acquisitions. We continue to seek to make acquisitions that will add high quality investment teams, that enhance our growth and financial profile, improve our diversification by asset class and investment strategy, achieve our integration and synergy expectations, expand our distribution capabilities and optimize our operating platform.

We believe, based on our acquisition experience, that there is a significant opportunity for us to grow through additional acquisitions. We believe the universe of potential acquisition targets has grown as a result of the evolution of the distribution landscape, the increasing cost of regulatory compliance, management fee compression and outflows from actively managed funds to passive products. In the United States, as of November 30, 2018, investment management firms with up to $100 billion of AUM collectively manage approximately $9.0 trillion total AUM. We intend to primarily focus our acquisition efforts on firms with $10 billion to $75 billion in AUM, a size range in which we have successfully executed two transactions (the Munder Acquisition and the RS Acquisition), announced two additional transactions (Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies) and in which investment management firms in the United States collectively manage approximately $5.7 trillion of AUM. We would consider firms both below and above this AUM range should they provide a compelling opportunity.

Through our acquisitions to date, we have added Franchises we believe can outperform the market, and where we have a strong understanding of the core business’s ability to drive growth for those Franchises and our Company as a whole. These acquisitions have shifted our AUM mix from 38% in our current focus asset classes at the time of our management‑led buyout in 2013 to 78% in our current focus asset classes as of December 31, 2018. We believe our deliberate repositioning of our business through acquisitions has equipped us with stronger investment strategies in more compelling asset classes, providing us with a next generation investment management platform.

Picture 14

 

We offer our clients an array of equity and fixed income strategies that encompass a diverse spectrum of market capitalization segments, investment styles and approaches. Our current focus asset classes—which consist of U.S. small‑ and mid‑cap equities, global/non‑U.S. equities and solutions—collectively comprised 78% of our AUM as of December 31, 2018. We believe strategies in these asset classes are better positioned to attract positive net flows and maintain stable fee rates over the long term. As of December 31, 2018, we estimate we had approximately $105 billion of total excess capacity in our four‑ and five‑star funds in these asset classes that were open to new investors (of which approximately $67 billion is in our Solutions Platform).

9


 

As outlined below, our business is diversified on multiple fronts, including by business, Franchise and Solutions Platform, client type and investment vehicle.

Picture 15

 

Picture 2

 


Data as of December 31, 2018.

(1)

Includes assets managed by Diversified, which were transferred to Munder on May 15, 2017. See “—Our Franchises—Munder Capital Management.”

Within individual asset classes, our Franchises employ different investment approaches. This diversification reduces the correlation between return streams generated by multiple Franchises investing within the same asset class. For example, we have several Franchises focused on Emerging Markets within global/non‑U.S. equity, each with a different investment approach. Trivalent’s investment team is one of the longest industry practitioners of small cap investing and primarily focuses on quantitative analysis for stock selection. Sophus employs a front‑end quantitative screen balanced to first rank stocks, then further applies fundamental research to make investment decisions. Due to the differences in

10


 

investment approaches, each Franchise has a different return profile for investors in different market environments while having exposure to their desired asset classes.

Picture 6


Data as of December 31, 2018.

(1)

Includes assets managed by Diversified, which were transferred to Munder on May 15, 2017. See “—Our Franchises—Munder Capital Management.”

Our multi‑channel distribution capabilities provide another degree of diversification, with approximately 56% of our AUM from institutional clients and 44% from retail clients as of December 31, 2018. We believe this client diversification has a stabilizing effect on our revenue, as institutional and retail investors have shown to exhibit different demand patterns and respond to trends in different ways.

We believe we have created a strong alignment of interests with clients and shareholders through employee ownership, our Franchise revenue share structure and employee investments in Victory products. Notably, the majority of our employee shareholders acquired their equity in connection with the management‑led buyout with Crestview GP from KeyCorp, as well as in connection with the Munder Acquisition and the RS Acquisition. We believe the opportunity to own equity in a well‑diversified company is attractive, both to existing employees and those who join as part of acquisitions. We principally compensate our investment professionals through a revenue share program, which we believe further incentivizes our investment professionals to focus on investment performance, while simultaneously minimizing potential distractions from the expense allocation process that would be involved in a profit‑sharing program. In addition, as of December 31, 2018, our current and former employees collectively have invested approximately $100 million in products we manage, directly aligning their investment outcomes with those of our clients. We believe the combination of these mechanisms has promoted long‑term thinking, an enhanced client experience and ultimately the creation of value for our shareholders.

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Our senior management team has an average of over 26 years of experience in the industry, each bringing significant expertise to his or her role. Our Chief Executive Officer and President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer have been with us (and our predecessor) for 14.5 and 13 years, respectively, overseeing the transformation of the business from a bank subsidiary to an independent investment management firm. Our Franchises’ CIOs are highly experienced, having an average of approximately 27 years of experience. Our sales leaders have had significant tenures, with an average of approximately 29 years of experience with us or a predecessor firm.

Competitive Strengths

We believe we have significant competitive strengths that position us for sustained growth over the long term.

Integrated Multi‑Boutique Model Providing Investment Autonomy, Centralized Distribution, Marketing and Support Functions to Investment Franchises

We believe our integrated multi‑boutique model allows us to achieve the benefits from both the scale of large managers and the focus of smaller managers. Our Franchises retain investment autonomy while benefiting from our centralized middle‑ and back‑office functions. We have demonstrated an ability to integrate our Franchises onto our flexible infrastructure without significantly increasing incremental fixed costs, which is a key component to the scalability of our model. Our structure enables our Franchises to focus their efforts on the investment process, providing them the platform to enhance their investment performance and consequently their growth prospects. Our centralized operations allow our Franchises to customize their desired investment support functions in ways that are best suited for their investment workflow. Through our centralized distribution platform, our Franchises are able to sell their products to institutional investors, retirement plans, brokerages and wealth managers to which it is challenging for smaller managers to gain access.

Within our model, each Franchise retains its own brand and logo, which it has built over time. Unlike other models with unified branding, there is no requirement for newly acquired Franchises to adjust their product set due to pre‑existing products on our platform; they are simply marketed under their own brand as they were previously. Because of this dynamic, we have the flexibility to add new Franchises either to gain greater exposure to certain asset classes or increase capacity in places where we already have exposure.

Proven Acquirer with Compelling Proposition

We believe our platform will allow us to continue to be a consolidator within the investment management industry, providing us with an opportunity to further grow and scale our business. Through several transactions, we have demonstrated an ability to successfully source, execute and integrate new Franchises.

We believe our integrated multi‑boutique model is compelling for potential Franchises with entrepreneurial leaders. Under our model, Franchises retain the brands they have built as well as autonomy over their investment decisions, while simultaneously benefiting from the ability to leverage our centralized distribution, marketing and operations platform. Our model further relieves our Franchises of much of their administrative burdens and allows them instead to focus on the investment process, which we believe provides them a platform to enhance their performance. By offering a platform on which Franchises can focus on their core competencies, grow their own brand faster and participate in a revenue share program, we believe we are providing an attractive proposition. Furthermore, we believe Victory equity is attractive to Franchise investment personnel, as these personnel receive the advantage of sharing in the potential upside of the entirety of our diversified investment management business.

Because we integrate a significant portion of each Franchise’s distribution, operational and administrative functions, we have been able to extract significant expense synergies from our acquisitions, enabling us to create greater value from transactions. As of December 31, 2018, we had generated net annualized expense synergies of approximately $76 million from our three acquisitions. For example, in the acquisition of RS Investments which closed in 2016, we successfully achieved net annual expense synergies of $53 million, which represents over 45% of RS Investments’ expenses in the year prior to the acquisition. We incurred $9.9 million in total one‑time expenses to achieve those synergies.

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As evidenced by the announcements to acquire Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies, we will seek to continue to augment our next generation investment management platform by focusing on acquisition candidates that provide investment capabilities that are complementary, that expand our distribution capabilities, that optimize our operating platform and achieve our integration and synergy expectations. Since our management‑led buyout with Crestview GP, our strategy of enhancing our capabilities within our current focus asset classes has driven strong organic growth within these asset classes. Furthermore, the distribution channels obtained through acquisitions have enhanced our flows.

Portfolio of Specialized Asset Classes with Potential for Outperformance

In assembling our portfolio of Franchises, we have selected investment managers offering strategies in specialized asset classes where active managers have shown an established track record of outperformance relative to benchmarks through security selection and portfolio construction. We continue to build our platform to address the needs of clients who would like exposure to asset classes that have potential for alpha generation. We find that larger industry trends of flows moving from actively managed strategies to passive ones are not as pronounced in our current focus asset classes.

Diversified Platform Across Investment Strategies, Franchises and Client Type

We have strategically built an investment platform that is diversified by investment strategy, Franchise and client type. Within each asset class, Franchises with overlapping investment mandates still contribute to our diversification by pursuing different investment philosophies and/or processes. For example, U.S. small cap equities, which accounted for approximately 25% of our AUM as of December 31, 2018, consists of four Franchises, each following a different investment strategy. We believe the diversity in investment styles reduces the correlation between the return profiles of strategies within the same asset class, and consequently provides an additional layer of diversification and AUM and revenue stability.

We believe our AUM is well diversified at the Franchise level, with no Franchise accounting for more than 34% of AUM, and the median Franchise comprising 7% of AUM, as of December 31, 2018. Furthermore, we believe our Franchises’ brand independence reduces the impact of each individual Franchise’s performance on clients’ perceptions of the other Franchises. The distribution of AUM by Franchise, as well as succession planning, mitigates the level of key man risk typically associated with investment management businesses.

We believe our client base serves as another important diversifying element, as different client segments have shown to have distinct characteristics, including asset class and product preferences, sales and redemptions trends, and exposure to secular trends. We strive to maintain a balance between institutional and retail clients, with 56% and 44% of our AUM as of December 31, 2018 in each of these channels, respectively. We also have the capability to deliver our strategies in investment vehicles designed to meet the needs and preferences of investors in each channel. These investment vehicles include mutual funds with channel‑specific share classes, institutional separate accounts, SMA/UMA/CTF products and ETFs. If a strategy is currently not offered in the wrapper of choice for a client, we have the infrastructure and ability to create a new investment vehicle, which helps our Franchises further diversify their investor bases.

Attractive Financial Profile

Our revenues have shown to be recurring in nature, as they are based on the level of client assets we manage. The majority of our strategies are in asset classes that require specialized skill, are in higher demand and typically command higher fee rates. With the growth of our Solutions Platform, our average fee rate is likely to decline as that business continues to grow, however, our fee revenue is generated from strategies with differing return profiles, thus diversifying our revenue stream.

Because we largely outsource our middle‑ and back‑office functions, as well as technology support, we have relatively minimal capital expenditure requirements. Approximately two‑thirds of our operating expenses are variable in nature, consisting of the incentive compensation pool for employees, sales commissions, third‑party distribution costs, sub‑advising and the fees we pay to certain of our vendors.

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We have identified three primary net income growth drivers. Firstly, we grow our AUM organically through inflows into our strategies and the market appreciation of those strategies. Secondly, we have a proven ability to grow through synergistic acquisitions. Thirdly, we have constructed a scalable platform; as our AUM increases, we expect margins to expand.

Economic and Structural Alignment of Interests Promotes Owner‑Centric Culture

Through our revenue share compensation model and broad employee ownership, we have structurally aligned our employees’ interests with those of our clients and other shareholders and have created an owner‑centric culture that encourages employees to act in the best interests of clients and our Company, as well as to think long term. Additionally, our employees invest in products managed by our Franchises and Solutions Platform, providing direct alignment with the interests of our clients.

We directly align the compensation paid to our investment teams with the performance of their respective Franchises by structuring formula‑based revenue sharing on the products they manage. We believe that compensation based on revenue rather than profits encourages investment professionals to focus their attention on investment performance, while encouraging them to provide good client service, focus on client retention and attract new flows. We believe the formula‑based, client‑aligned nature of our revenue sharing fosters a culture of transparency where Franchises understand how and on what terms they are being measured to earn compensation.

We believe the high percentage of employee ownership creates a collective alignment with our success. Further, we believe granting equity is attractive to potential new employees and is a retentive mechanism for current employees. As of December 31, 2018, our employees beneficially owned approximately 27% of our shares. In addition to being aligned with our financial success through their equity ownership, our current and former employees collectively have invested approximately $100 million in products we manage as of December 31, 2018.

Our Growth Strategy

We have a purposeful strategy aimed to achieve continued growth and success for our Company and our Franchises. The growth we pursue is both organic and inorganic. We seek to grow organically by offering our clients strategies that are value-added to their overall portfolios with strong performance track records. We intend to continue to supplement our growth through disciplined acquisitions as evidenced by the announcements to acquire Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies. We primarily seek to acquire investment management firms that will add high quality investment teams, that enhance our growth and financial profile, improve our diversification by asset class and investment strategy, achieve our integration and synergy expectations, expand our distribution capabilities and optimize our operating platform. We believe one of our key advantages in a competitive sales process is our ability to provide access to new distribution channels. We believe that our centralized distribution and marketing platform drives organic growth at our acquired Franchises both by opening new distribution channels to them and providing them with the support of our sales and marketing professionals while allowing them to focus on investment performance.

Organic Growth

A key driver of our growth strategy lies in enhancing the strength of each of our existing Franchises. We primarily do this by providing them with access to our centralized distribution, marketing and operations platform. Largely unencumbered by the burdens of administrative and operational tasks, our investment professionals can focus on delivering investment excellence and maintaining strong client relationships. We also expect to help our Franchises through fund and share class launches and product development. We believe we are well positioned to help our Franchises grow their product offerings and diversify their investor base, with the ability to offer their strategies in multiple investment vehicles to meet clients’ needs.

Our platform provides significant operating leverage to our Franchises and is a key factor in our continued success. As we continue to grow and expand, we will continue to look for ways to invest in our operations, in order to achieve greater economies of scale and provide better services to our Franchises. We continue to expand our distribution capabilities as well, demonstrated by our entry in 2016 into an exclusive distribution agreement with an independent

14


 

investment management firm in Japan, as well as our launch during the first quarter of 2017 of two emerging market UCITS funds with a global financial advisory firm.

We continually look to the future, and as a result, our infrastructure investments can range from the immediate to the long term. As an example, we have acquired a minority interest in Cerebellum Capital, an investment management firm that specializes in machine learning. Cerebellum Capital’s techniques help to design, execute and improve investment programs and the firm is working with a number of our Franchises to help them optimize their investment processes. We believe investments like these provide tools that can provide enhancements to our Franchises’ investment processes, give our Franchises access to proprietary technology that can give them an advantage and help position our Franchises for the future.

Certain of our Franchise strategies have or may have capacity constraints, and we may choose to limit access to new or existing investors in these strategies such as we have done for two mutual funds managed by the Sycamore Capital Franchise, which had an aggregate of $14.3 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018.

We believe there is significant growth potential in solutions products, most notably in ETFs. Through our VictoryShares brand, we offer ETFs that seek to improve the risk, return and diversification profile of client portfolios. Our approach furthers our commitment to rules‑based investing and includes single‑ and multi‑factor strategies designed to provide a variety of outcomes, including maximum diversification, dividend income, downside mitigation, minimum volatility and targeted factor exposure. VictoryShares is designed to provide investors with rules‑based solutions that bridge the gap between the active and passive elements of their portfolios. Since the CEMP Acquisition in 2015, our ETF products have grown from less than $200 million in AUM to approximately $3.0 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2018, we ranked 26th in overall ETF AUM among 144 issuers and 21st out of 144 ETF issuers in net flows for 2018. VictoryShares ETFs have posted positive net flows every quarter since the CEMP acquisition in 2015 and in 2018 grew their market share by 33%.

Growth through Acquisitions

We intend to continue to accelerate growth through disciplined acquisitions. On September 21, 2018, the Company entered into the Harvest Purchase Agreement, whereby the Company has agreed to purchase 100% of the equity interests of Harvest, an asset management company specializing in yield enhancement overlay, risk reduction, alternative beta and absolute return investment strategies. Harvest offers a suite of value-added investment strategies for client portfolios that are designed to provide investors with risk-managed sources of income, absolute return and varying levels of market exposure. The acquisition will expand our Solutions Platform by adding a historically strong organic grower to our platform and will further diversify our AUM into strategies that are managed to be neutral to changing market cycles. In addition, on November 6, 2018, we entered into an agreement to acquire the USAA Acquired Companies and their Mutual Fund and ETF businesses and USAA 529 College Savings Plan. The USAA Acquired Companies have proven expertise in managing fixed income, global multi-asset and equity strategies through both internal investment teams and external subadvisors. We expect the USAA AMCO Acquisition will diversify our AUM, expand our investment capabilities, increase our size and scale and introduce a new and unique USAA direct-member distribution channel to our existing distribution platform.

We regularly evaluate potential acquisition candidates and maintain a strong network among industry participants and advisers that provide opportunities to establish potential target relationships and source transactions. We primarily seek investment management firms that will add high quality investment teams, that enhance our growth and financial profile, improve our diversification by asset class and investment strategy, achieve our integration and synergy expectations, expand our distribution capabilities and optimize our operating platform. We have a preference for investing in asset classes where we have knowledge, provided that further acquisitions must continue to diversify our portfolio in terms of investment strategy. Our focus is not only on U.S. investment managers but also on investment styles that have an international or emerging market presence.

We believe the universe of potential acquisition targets has grown as a result of the evolution of the distribution landscape, the increasing cost of regulatory compliance, management fee compression and outflows from actively

15


 

managed funds to passive products. We believe our integrated multi‑boutique model makes us an attractive acquirer. Further, our centralized distribution, marketing and operations platform allows us to achieve synergies.

Our Franchises

As of December 31, 2018, we had our nine Franchises diversified across investment approaches, with no Franchise accounting for more than 34% of our AUM. Our Franchises are independent from one another from an investment perspective, maintain their own separate brands and logos, which they have built over time, and are led by dedicated CIOs. We customize each Franchise’s interactions with our centralized platform and the formula for its respective revenue share.

Our Franchises are:

Expedition Investment Partners

Expedition Investment Partners applies a fundamental growth‑oriented approach to investing in secular changes occurring in the small‑capitalization companies of emerging and frontier classified countries. Expedition’s team has diverse backgrounds, is fluent in multiple languages and travels extensively for on‑site due diligence at opportunistic and lesser known companies in the emerging and frontier market areas. Expedition is based in New York, NY and managed $0.3 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Expedition’s investment team consists of seven professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 17 years.

INCORE Capital Management

INCORE Capital Management uses niche and customized fixed income strategies focusing on exploiting structural inefficiencies in the U.S. fixed income markets. INCORE conducts extensive research that includes identifying slower prepayment rates on mortgages, market inefficiencies along particular areas of the yield curve, and proprietary quantitative credit quality modeling. INCORE is based in Birmingham, MI and Brooklyn, OH and managed $5.9 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. INCORE’s investment team consists of 14 professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 20 years.

Integrity Asset Management

Integrity Asset Management utilizes a dynamic value‑oriented approach to U.S. mid‑ and small‑capitalization companies. Integrity conducts fundamental stock research to find attractive companies that have compelling discounts to the prevailing market conditions. Integrity is based in Rocky River, OH, and managed $4.7 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Integrity’s investment team consists of 12 professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 19 years.

Munder Capital Management

Munder Capital Management has an experienced team utilizing a “Growth‑at‑a‑Reasonable‑Price” strategy in the U.S. equity markets designed to generate consistently strong performance over a market cycle. Munder performs extensive fundamental research in order to find attractive growth companies that it expects will exceed market expectations. Of the companies with independently determined growth attributes, valuation is applied to find the most inexpensive growth companies. Munder is based in Birmingham, MI, and managed $3.7 billion in AUM (including assets formerly managed by Diversified) as of December 31, 2018. Munder’s investment team consists of nine professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 25 years.

NewBridge Asset Management

NewBridge Asset Management applies a high conviction growth‑oriented strategy focusing on U.S. large‑capitalization companies experiencing superior long‑term growth rates with strong management teams. Most of NewBridge’s team has worked together since 1996 doing fundamental research on high growth companies. NewBridge

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usually holds between 25 and 35 securities. NewBridge is based in New York, NY and managed $1.3 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. NewBridge’s investment team consists of six professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 22 years.

RS Investments

RS Investments is made up of three investment teams: RS Value; RS Growth; and RS International. RS Value and RS Growth apply an original and proprietary fundamental approach to investing in value and growth‑oriented U.S. equity strategies. The RS Value and RS Growth teams conduct hundreds of company research meetings each year. RS International utilizes a highly disciplined quantitative approach to managing core‑oriented global and international equity strategies. RS Investments is based in San Francisco, CA and managed $9.6 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. RS Investments’ three investment teams consist of 17 professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 20 years.

Sophus Capital

Sophus Capital utilizes a disciplined quantitative process that accesses market conditions in emerging equity markets and rank orders attractive companies that are further researched from a fundamental basis. Sophus’ team members travel to companies to conduct fundamental research. Sophus is based in Des Moines, IA, with offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore, and managed $1.6 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Sophus’ investment team consists of 10 professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 16 years.

Sycamore Capital

Sycamore Capital applies a quality value‑oriented approach to U.S. mid‑ and small‑ capitalization companies. Sycamore conducts fundamental research to find companies with strong high‑quality balance sheets that are undervalued versus comparable high quality companies. Sycamore is based in Cincinnati, OH and managed $17.9 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018, which includes two mutual funds with an aggregate of $14.3 billion in AUM that we have generally closed to new investors. Sycamore’s investment team consists of 10 professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 15 years.

Trivalent Investments

Trivalent Investments utilizes a disciplined approach to stock selection across large to small companies in the international and emerging markets space. Trivalent is one of the longest standing practitioners of international small‑capitalization investing in the industry. Trivalent’s investment strategy is primarily a proprietary quantitative process that drives stock selection across various countries. Trivalent frequently conducts reviews of stock selection rankings within a portfolio construction and risk management context in order to isolate performance to stock selection. Trivalent is based in Boston, MA, and managed $2.5 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Trivalent’s investment team consists of seven professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 22 years.

Non‑Franchise/Subadvisory Relationships

Park Avenue

Park Avenue Institutional Advisers LLC, a unit of New York‑based Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, subadvises five of our fixed income funds: the Victory Floating Rate, High Yield, Strategic Income, Tax‑Exempt, and High Income Municipal Bond funds. Guardian was the controlling shareholder of RS Investments prior to the RS Acquisition. Park Avenue and VCM have entered into a written sub‑advisory agreement, pursuant to which Park Avenue provides sub‑advisory services with respect to those fixed income funds, subject to the general oversight of VCM and the board of trustees of the Victory Funds.

Under the sub‑advisory agreement, VCM pays Park Avenue monthly fees for each sub‑advised fund based on a percentage of the fees due from such fund to VCM for such month.

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Park Avenue employs a fundamental value approach to investing that gauges value relative to risk, rather than simply reaching for yield. Investment decisions are based on rigorous, independent research into each investment’s credit quality, structure and collateral. Park Avenue is based in New York, NY, and managed $0.9 billion in AUM for the Company as of December 31, 2018. Park Avenue’s investment team consists of eight portfolio managers with an average industry experience of approximately 29 years.

SailingStone

SailingStone Capital Partners is an independent investment advisory firm focused exclusively on providing investment solutions in the global natural resource sector. SailingStone manages concentrated, long‑only natural resource equity portfolios for investors and subadvises our Victory Global Natural Resources Fund. SailingStone was formed in 2014 by members of the RS Investments global natural resources, or GNR, team, pursuant to a written agreement between RS Investments and the GNR team to spin off the GNR business into an independent specialized investment management firm. RS Investments assigned all of its rights in the agreement to VCM in the RS Acquisition. SailingStone’s sub‑advisory services are subject to the general oversight of VCM and the board of trustees of the Victory Funds.

Under the sub‑advisory agreement, VCM pays SailingStone a monthly fee, based on the Victory Global Natural Resource Fund’s assets.

In addition, through December 31, 2018, we were entitled to a declining percentage of the revenue of SailingStone from certain separate account clients that were transferred in January 2014.

SailingStone is based in San Francisco, CA, and managed $0.5 billion in AUM for the Company as of December 31, 2018. SailingStone’s investment team consists of six professionals with an average industry experience of approximately 18 years.

Solutions Platform

Our Solutions Platform consists of multi‑Franchise and customized solutions strategies that are primarily rules‑based. We offer our Solutions Platform through a variety of vehicles, including separate accounts, mutual funds and VictoryShares, which is our ETF brand. Like our Franchises, our Solutions Platform is operationally integrated and supported by our centralized distribution, marketing and operational support functions. As of December 31, 2018, VictoryShares’ investment management fees were between 30 and 45 basis points. Our Solutions Platform managed $3.8 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018.

Our Products and Investment Performance

As of December 31, 2018, our nine Franchises and Solutions Platform offered 71 investment strategies with the majority in our current focus asset classes, consisting of U.S. small‑ and mid‑cap equities, global/non‑U.S. equities and solutions. These asset classes collectively comprised 78% of our $52.8 billion AUM as of December 31, 2018. 

Product Mix

Our investment strategies are offered through open‑end mutual funds, SMAs, UMAs, ETFs, CTFs and wrap separate account programs. Our product mix is expanding, as we have the ability to add investment vehicles to any strategy that is offered by our Franchises.

Each individual asset class is diversified through the investment strategies of our Franchises, which each employ different investment approaches. Due to the differences in investment approaches, each of our Franchises has different return profiles for investors in different market environments while having exposure to their desired asset classes.

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Investment Performance

Our Franchises have established a long track record of benchmark‑relative outperformance, including prior to their acquisition by us. As of December 31, 2018, 88% of our strategies by AUM had returns in excess of their respective benchmarks over a ten‑year period, 74% over a five‑year period and 68% over a three‑year period. On an equal‑weighted basis, 75% of our strategies have outperformed their benchmarks over a ten‑year period, 63% over a five‑year period and 59% over a three‑year period. We consider both the AUM‑weighted and equal‑weighted metrics in evaluating our investment performance. The advantage of the AUM‑weighted metric is that it reflects the investment performance of our Company as a whole, indicating whether we tend to outperform our benchmarks for the assets we manage. The disadvantage is that the metric fails to capture the overall effectiveness of our individual investment strategies; it does not capture whether most of our strategies tend to outperform their respective benchmarks. Conversely, the Equal‑weighted metric reflects the overall effectiveness of our individual investment strategies, but fails to capture the investment performance of our Company as a whole.

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The table below sets forth our 10 largest strategies by AUM as of December 31, 2018 and their average annual total returns compared to their respective benchmark index over the one‑, three‑, five‑ and 10‑year periods ended December 31, 2018. These strategies represented approximately 66% of our total AUM as of December 31, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy/Benchmark Index

    

1 year

    

3 years

    

5 years

    

10 years

 

Sycamore Mid Cap Value(1)

 

(9.40)

%  

8.82

%  

8.20

%  

14.50

%

Russell Midcap Value

 

(12.29)

%  

6.06

%  

5.44

%  

13.03

%

Excess Return

 

2.89

%  

2.76

%  

2.76

%  

1.47

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sycamore Small Cap Value(1)

 

(7.43)

%  

11.12

%  

8.29

%  

14.52

%

Russell 2000 Value

 

(12.86)

%  

7.37

%  

3.61

%  

10.40

%

Excess Return

 

5.43

%  

3.75

%  

4.68

%  

4.12

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integrity Small Cap Value Equity

 

(17.52)

%  

5.62

%  

3.89

%  

13.29

%

Russell 2000 Value

 

(12.86)

%  

7.37

%  

3.61

%  

10.40

%

Excess Return

 

(4.66)

%  

(1.75)

%  

0.28

%  

2.89

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Munder Mid-Cap Core Growth

 

(12.63)

%  

6.03

%  

5.11

%  

13.24

%

Russell Midcap

 

(9.06)

%  

7.04

%  

6.26

%  

14.03

%

Excess Return

 

(3.57)

%  

(1.01)

%  

(1.15)

%  

(0.79)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RS Mid Cap Growth

 

(6.47)

%  

6.73

%  

6.12

%  

15.44

%

Russell Midcap Growth

 

(4.75)

%  

8.59

%  

7.42

%  

15.12

%

Excess Return

 

(1.72)

%  

(1.86)

%  

(1.30)

%  

0.32

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RS Small Cap Growth

 

(7.65)

%  

9.40

%  

8.08

%  

17.21

%

Russell 2000 Growth

 

(9.31)

%  

7.24

%  

5.13

%  

13.52

%

Excess Return

 

1.66

%  

2.16

%  

2.95

%  

3.69

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trivalent International Small-Cap Equity

 

(19.74)

%  

3.62

%  

4.29

%  

12.86

%

S&P Developed ex-U.S. SmallCap

 

(18.75)

%  

3.46

%  

2.38

%  

9.55

%

Excess Return

 

(0.99)

%  

0.16

%  

1.91

%  

3.31

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophus Emerging Markets

 

(18.07)

%  

9.84

%  

2.80

%  

N/A

 

MSCI Emerging Markets

 

(14.58)

%  

9.25

%  

1.65

%  

8.02

%

Excess Return

 

(3.49)

%  

0.59

%  

1.15

%  

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RS Large Cap Value

 

(8.47)

%  

6.17

%  

6.16

%  

N/A

%

Russell 1000 Value

 

(8.27)

%  

6.95

%  

5.95

%  

11.18

%

Excess Return

 

(0.20)

%  

(0.78)

%  

0.21

%  

N/A

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INCORE Investment Grade Convertible Securities

 

1.03

%  

9.21

%  

8.37

%  

10.54

%

INCORE Investment Grade Convertible Securities (VXA1 - VX5C)(2)

 

2.10

%  

12.23

%  

10.71

%  

11.47

%

Excess Return

 

(1.07)

%  

(3.02)

%  

(2.34)

%  

(0.93)

%


(1)

Includes two mutual funds with an aggregate of $14.3 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018 that we have generally closed to new investors.

(2)

Time blended benchmark which consists of ICE BofAML Investment Grade U.S. Convertible 5% Constrained Index (VX5C) beginning on December 1, 2017 and ICE BofAML U.S. Convertible – Investment Grade Index (VXA1) prior to December 1, 2017.

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Picture 8


For each period shown, performance statistics include only strategies that existed during that entire period (including prior to our acquisition of the strategies).

Our products have consistently won awards for performance, with five consecutive years of ranking in Barron’s Top Fund Families ratings, coming in at #9, #10, #21, #25 and #15 overall for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

In addition, a significant percentage of our mutual fund assets have high Morningstar ratings. As of December 31, 2018, 23 Victory Funds and ETFs had four or five star overall ratings. On an AUM‑weighted basis, 65% of our fund AUM had an overall rating of four or five stars by Morningstar. Over a five‑year and three‑year basis, 64% and 56% of our fund AUM achieved four or five star ratings, respectively.

Picture 7


Morningstar data as of December 31, 2018.

Integrated Distribution, Marketing and Operations

The centralization of our distribution, marketing and operational functions is a key component in our model, allowing our Franchises to focus on their core competencies of security selection and portfolio construction. In addition, we believe it provides our Franchises with the benefits of operating at scale, providing them with access to larger clients

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as well as a more streamlined cost structure. As of December 31, 2018, we had 61 employees in management and support functions, 88 sales and marketing professionals and 114 investment professionals.

Our centralized distribution and marketing functions lead the sales effort for both our institutional and retail channels. Our sales teams are staffed with accomplished professionals that are given specific training on how to position each of our strategies. Our teams have historically focused on developing relationships with institutional consultants and retail intermediaries. These relationships can enhance our platform’s overall reach and allow our Franchises and Solutions Platform to access more clients.

To ensure high levels of client service, our sales teams liaise regularly with product specialists at our Franchises. The specialists are tasked with responding to institutional client and retail inquiries on product performance and also educating prospective investors and retail partners in coordination with the relevant internal sales team members. Our distribution and marketing professionals collaborate closely with our Franchises’ product specialists in order to attract new clients while also servicing and generating additional sales from existing clients.

Institutional Sales:  Our institutional sales team attracts and builds relationships with institutional clients, the largest institutional consultants and mutual fund complexes and other organizations seeking sub‑advisers. Our institutional clientele includes corporations, public funds, non‑profit organizations, Taft‑Hartley plans, sub‑advisory clients, international clients and insurance companies. Our institutional sales and client‑service professionals manage existing client relationships, serve consultants and prospects and/or focus on specific segments. They have extensive experience and a comprehensive understanding of our investment activities. On average, each of our client‑facing institutional sales professionals has over 20 years of industry tenure.

Retail Sales:  Our retail sales team is split among regional external wholesalers, retirement specialists and national account specialists, all of whom are supported by an internal calling desk. In the retail channel, we focus on gathering assets through intermediaries, such as banks, broker‑dealers, wirehouses, retirement platforms and RIA networks. As of December 31, 2018, 57% of our retail AUM was through intermediaries, while 43% was through retirement platforms. We offer mutual funds and separately managed wrap and unified managed accounts on intermediary and retirement platforms. We have agreements with many of the largest platforms in our retail channel, which has provided an opportunity to place our retail products on those platforms. Further, to enhance our presence on large distribution platforms, we have focused our efforts on servicing intermediary home offices and research departments. These efforts have led to strong growth in platform penetration, as measured by investment products on approved and recommended lists, as well as our inclusion in model portfolios. This penetration provides the opportunity for us to sell more products through distribution platforms. As of December 31, 2018, we had at least one and as many as 20 products on the research recommended/model portfolios of the top ten U.S. intermediary platforms by AUM. These top intermediary platforms included Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and Raymond James. We also have agreements with all of the top 20 retirement platforms by AUM, including Fidelity, Vanguard, Voya and Merrill Lynch. As of December 31, 2018, we had at least one and as many as eight approved products on the recommended list of each of those top 20 retirement platforms that have recommended lists.

Marketing:  Our distribution efforts are supplemented by our marketing function, which is primarily responsible for enhancing the visibility and quality of our portfolio of brands. They are specifically tasked with managing corporate, Franchise and Solutions Platform branding efforts, database management, the development of marketing materials, website design and the publishing of white papers. They are also a key component in our responses to requests for proposals sent over by prospective clients. The success of their efforts can be seen by our eVestment #1 ranking for Institutional Brand Awareness among asset managers with between $25 billion and $50 billion in AUM in 2015, our #4 ranking among asset managers with between $50 billion and $100 billion in AUM in both 2016 and 2017 and our #6 ranking among asset managers with between $50 billion and $100 billion in AUM in 2018.

Operations:  Our centralized operations functions provide our Franchises and Solutions Platform with the support they need so that they can focus on their investment processes. Our centralized operations functions include trading platforms, risk and compliance, middle‑ and back‑office support, finance, human resources, accounting and legal. Although our operations are centralized, we do allow our Franchises a degree of customization with respect to their desired

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investment support functions, which we believe helps them maintain their individualized investment processes and minimize undue disruptions.

We outsource certain middle‑ and back‑office activities, such as trade settlement, portfolio analytics, custodian reconciliation, portfolio accounting, corporate action processing, performance calculation and client reporting, to scaled, recognized service providers, who provide their services to us on a variable‑cost basis. Systems and processes are customized as necessary to support our investment processes and operations. We maintain relationships with multiple vendors for the majority of our outsourced functions, which we believe mitigates vendor‑specific risk. We also have information security, business continuity and data privacy programs in place to help mitigate risk.

Outsourcing these functions enables us to grow our AUM, both organically and through acquisitions, without the incremental capital expenditures and working capital that would typically be needed. Under our direction and oversight, our outsourced model enhances our ability to integrate our acquisitions, as we are experienced in working with our vendors to efficiently bring additional Franchises onto our platform in a cost‑efficient manner.

We believe both the scalability of our business and our cost structure, in which approximately two‑thirds of our operating expenses are variable, should drive increasing margins and facilitate free cash flow conversion. Additionally, we believe having a majority of our expenses tied to AUM and the number of client accounts provides downside margin protection should there be sustained net outflows or adverse market conditions.

Competition

We compete in various markets, asset classes and investment vehicles. We sell our investment products in the traditional institutional segments and intermediary and retirement distribution channels, which include mutual funds, wrap accounts, UMAs and ETFs. We face competition in attracting and retaining assets from other investment management firms. Additionally, we compete with other acquirers of investment management firms, including independent, fully integrated investment management firms and multi‑boutique businesses, insurance companies, banks, private equity firms and other financial institutions.

We compete with other managers offering similar strategies. Some of these organizations have greater financial resources and capabilities than we are able to offer and have had strong performance track records. We compete with other investment management firms for client assets based on the following primary factors:

·

our investment performance track record of delivering alpha;

·

the specialized nature of our investment strategies;

·

fees charged;

·

access to distribution channels;

·

client service; and

·

our employees’ alignment of interests with investors.

We compete with other potential acquirers of investment management firms primarily on the basis of the following factors:

·

the strength of our distribution relationships;

·

the value we add through centralized distribution, marketing and operations platforms;

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·

the investment autonomy Franchises retain post acquisition;

·

the tenure and continuity of our management and investment professionals; and

·

the value that can be delivered to the seller through realization of synergies created by the combination of the businesses.

Our ability to continue to compete effectively will also depend upon our ability to retain our current investment professionals and employees and to attract highly qualified new investment professionals and employees. For additional information concerning the competitive risks that we face, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Industry—The investment management industry is intensely competitive.”

Employees

As of December 31, 2018, we had 263 employees. We are not subject to any collective bargaining agreement and have never been subject to a work stoppage. We believe we have maintained satisfactory relationships with our employees.

Business Organization

Victory Capital Holdings, Inc. was formed in 2013 for the purpose of acquiring VCM and VCA from KeyCorp. VCM is a registered investment adviser managing assets through open‑end mutual funds, separately managed accounts, unified management accounts, ETFs, collective trust funds, wrap separate account programs and UCITs. VCM also provides mutual fund administrative services for the Victory Portfolios, Victory Variable Insurance Funds, Victory Institutional Funds and the mutual fund series of the Victory Portfolios II (collectively, “the Victory Funds”), a family of open-end mutual funds, and the VictoryShares (the Company’s ETF brand). VCM additionally employs all of our U.S. investment professionals across our Franchises and Solutions Platform, which are not separate legal entities. VCA is registered with the SEC as an introducing broker‑dealer and serves as distributor and underwriter for the Victory Funds.

Initial Public Offering and Debt Repayment

On February 12, 2018, we issued 11,700,000 shares of Class A common stock in the IPO at a price of $13.00 per share for net proceeds of $143.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts. Net proceeds received from the IPO and the Existing Credit Agreement of $143.0 million and $355.9 million, respectively, together with $0.8 million of cash on hand, were used to repay the $499.7 million of outstanding term loans under the 2014 Credit Agreement.

On March 13, 2018, the Company issued an additional 1,110,860 shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the underwriters’ exercise of their option for net proceeds of $13.5 million after deducting underwriting discounts. The net proceeds from the underwriters’ exercise of their option and operating cash flow were used to pay down $80.0 million of the Existing Credit Agreement in 2018 to bring the balance to $280.0 million at December 31, 2018. See Note 10 to the audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

Regulatory Environment and Compliance

Our business is subject to extensive regulation in the United States at the federal level and, to a lesser extent, the state level, as well as regulation by self‑regulatory organizations and outside the United States. Under these laws and regulations, agencies that regulate investment advisers have broad administrative powers, including the power to limit, restrict or prohibit an investment adviser from carrying on its business in the event that it fails to comply with such laws and regulations. Possible sanctions that may be imposed include the suspension of individual employees, limitations on engaging in certain lines of business for specified periods of time, revocation of investment adviser and other registrations, censures and fines.

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SEC Investment Adviser and Investment Company Registration/Regulation

VCM is registered with the SEC as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act, and the Victory Funds, VictoryShares and several of the investment companies we sub‑advise are registered under the 1940 Act. The Advisers Act and the 1940 Act, together with the SEC’s regulations and interpretations thereunder, impose substantive and material restrictions and requirements on the operations of advisers and registered funds. The SEC is authorized to institute proceedings and impose sanctions for violations of the Advisers Act and the 1940 Act, ranging from fines and censures to termination of an adviser’s registration. As an investment adviser, we have a fiduciary duty to our clients. The SEC has interpreted that duty to impose standards, requirements and limitations on, among other things: trading for proprietary, personal and client accounts; allocations of investment opportunities among clients; use of soft dollars; execution of transactions; and recommendations to clients. We manage accounts for all of our clients on a discretionary basis, with authority to buy and sell securities for each portfolio, select broker‑dealers to execute trades and negotiate brokerage commission rates. In connection with certain of these transactions, we receive soft dollar credits from broker‑dealers that have the effect of reducing certain of our expenses. All of our soft dollar arrangements are intended to be within the safe harbor provided by Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act. If our ability to use soft dollars were reduced or eliminated as a result of the implementation of statutory amendments or new regulations, our operating expenses would increase.

As a registered adviser, VCM is subject to many additional requirements that cover, among other things: disclosure of information about our business to clients; maintenance of written policies and procedures; maintenance of extensive books and records; restrictions on the types of fees we may charge; custody of client assets; client privacy; advertising; and solicitation of clients. The SEC has authority to inspect any investment adviser and typically inspects a registered adviser periodically to determine whether the adviser is conducting its activities (i) in accordance with applicable laws, (ii) in a manner that is consistent with disclosures made to clients and (iii) with adequate systems and procedures to ensure compliance.

For the year ended December 31, 2018, 83% of our total revenues were derived from our services to investment companies registered under the 1940 Act—i.e., mutual funds and ETFs. The 1940 Act imposes significant requirements and limitations on a registered fund, including with respect to its capital structure, investments and transactions. While we exercise broad discretion over the day‑to‑day management of the business and affairs of the Victory Funds, VictoryShares and the investment portfolios of the Victory Funds and VictoryShares and the funds we sub‑advise, our own operations are subject to oversight and management by each fund’s board of directors. Under the 1940 Act, a majority of the directors of our registered funds must not be “interested persons” with respect to us (sometimes referred to as the “independent director” requirement) in order to rely on certain exemptive rules under the 1940 Act relevant to the operation of registered funds. The responsibilities of the fund’s board include, among other things: approving our investment advisory agreement with the fund (or, for sub‑advisory arrangements, our sub‑advisory agreement with the fund’s investment adviser); approving other service providers; determining the method of valuing assets; and monitoring transactions involving affiliates. Our investment advisory agreements with these funds may be terminated by the funds on not more than 60 days’ notice and are subject to annual renewal by the fund’s board after the initial term of one to two years. The 1940 Act also imposes on the investment adviser or sub‑adviser to a registered fund a fiduciary duty with respect to the receipt of the adviser’s investment management fees or the sub‑adviser’s sub‑advisory fees. That fiduciary duty may be enforced by the SEC, by administrative action or by litigation by investors in the fund pursuant to a private right of action.

As required by the Advisers Act, our investment advisory agreements may not be assigned without the client’s consent. Under the 1940 Act, investment advisory agreements with registered funds (such as the mutual funds and ETFs we manage) terminate automatically upon assignment. The term “assignment” is broadly defined and includes direct assignments as well as assignments that may be deemed to occur upon the transfer, directly or indirectly, of a “controlling block” of our outstanding voting securities. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—An assignment could result in termination of our investment advisory agreements to manage SEC‑registered funds and could trigger consent requirements in our other investment advisory agreements.”

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SEC Broker‑Dealer Registration/FINRA Regulation

VCA is subject to regulation by the SEC, FINRA and various states. In addition, certain of our employees are registered with FINRA and such states and subject to SEC, state and FINRA regulation. The failure of these companies and/or employees to comply with relevant regulation could have a material adverse effect on our business.

ERISA‑Related Regulation

We are a fiduciary under ERISA with respect to assets that we manage for benefit plan clients subject to ERISA. ERISA, the regulations promulgated thereunder and applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code impose certain duties on persons who are fiduciaries under ERISA, prohibit certain transactions involving ERISA plan clients and impose monetary penalties for violations of these prohibitions. The duties under ERISA require, among other obligations, that fiduciaries perform their duties solely in the interests of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries.

CFTC Regulation

VCM is registered with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator and is a member of the NFA, a self‑regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry. In addition, certain of our employees are registered with the CFTC and members of NFA. Registration with the CFTC and NFA membership subject VCM to regulation by the CFTC and the NFA including, but not limited to, reporting, recordkeeping, disclosure, self‑examination and training requirements. Registration with the CFTC also subjects VCM to periodic on‑site audits. Each of the CFTC and NFA is authorized to institute proceedings and impose sanctions for violations of applicable regulations.

Non‑U.S. Regulation

In addition to the extensive regulation to which we are subject in the United States, we are subject to regulation internationally. Our business is also subject to the rules and regulations of the countries in which we market our funds or services and conduct investment activities.

In Singapore, we are subject to, among others, the Securities and Futures Act, or the SFA, the Financial Advisers Act, or the FAA, and the subsidiary legislation promulgated pursuant to these Acts, which are administered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or the MAS. We and our employees conducting regulated activities specified in the SFA and/or the FAA are required to be licensed with the MAS. Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations, codes, directives, notices and guidelines issued by the MAS may result in penalties including fines, censures and the suspension or revocation of licenses granted by the MAS.

In Hong Kong, we are subject to the Securities and Futures Ordinance, or the SFO, and its subsidiary legislation, which governs the securities and futures markets and regulates, among others, offers of investments to the public and provides for the licensing of dealing in securities and investment management activities and intermediaries. This legislation is administered by the Securities and Futures Commission, or the SFC. The SFC is also empowered under the SFO to establish standards for compliance as well as codes and guidelines. We and our employees conducting any of the regulated activities specified in the SFO are required to be licensed with the SFC, and are subject to the rules, codes and guidelines issued by the SFC from time to time. Failure to comply with the applicable laws, regulations, codes and guidelines could result in various sanctions being imposed, including fines, reprimands and the suspension or revocation of the licenses granted by the SFC.

Compliance

Our legal and compliance functions are integrated into one team of 10 professionals as of December 31, 2018. This group is responsible for all legal and regulatory compliance matters, as well as for monitoring adherence to client investment guidelines. Our legal and compliance teams work through a well‑established reporting and communication structure to ensure we have a consistent and holistic program for legal and regulatory compliance. Senior management is also involved at various levels in all of these functions. We cannot assure that our legal and compliance functions will be

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effective to prevent all losses. See “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—If our techniques for managing risk are ineffective, we may be exposed to material unanticipated losses.”

For more information about our regulatory environment, see “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Industry—As an investment management firm, we are subject to extensive regulation” and “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Industry—The regulatory environment in which we operate is subject to continual change and regulatory developments designed to increase oversight may materially adversely affect our business.”

Available Information

We routinely file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information required by the Exchange Act with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public from the SEC’s public internet site at http://www.sec.gov.

We maintain a public internet site at ir.vcm.com/investor-relations and make available free of charge through this site our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements and Forms 3, 4 and 5 filed on behalf of directors and executive officers, as well as any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. We also post on our website the charters for our board of directors’ Audit Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and Compensation Committee, as well as our Corporate Governance Guidelines and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics governing our directors, officers, and employees. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

The risks described below are not the only ones facing us. The occurrence of any of the following risks or additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In such case the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline. This report also contains forward‑looking statements and estimates that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward‑looking statements as a result of specific factors, including the risks and uncertainties described below.

Risks Relating to Our Business

We earn substantially all of our revenues based on AUM, and any reduction in AUM would reduce our revenues and profitability. AUM fluctuates based on many factors, including investment performance, client withdrawals and difficult market conditions.

We earn substantially all of our revenues from asset‑based fees from investment management products and services to individuals and institutions. Therefore, if our AUM declines, our fee revenue will decline, which will reduce our profitability as certain of our expenses are fixed. There are several reasons that AUM could decline:

·

The performance of our investment strategies is critical to our business, and any real or perceived negative absolute or relative performance could negatively impact the maintenance and growth of AUM. Net flows related to our strategies can be affected by investment performance relative to other competing strategies or to established benchmarks. Our investment strategies are rated, ranked, recommended or assessed by independent third parties, distribution partners, and industry periodicals and services. These assessments may influence the investment decisions of our clients. If the performance or assessment of our strategies is seen as underperforming relative to peers, it could result in an increase in the withdrawal of assets by existing clients and the inability to attract additional commitments from existing and new clients. In addition, certain of our strategies have or may have capacity constraints, as there is a limit to the number of securities available for the strategy to operate effectively. In those instances, we may choose to limit access to those strategies to

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new or existing investors, such as we have done for two mutual funds managed by the Sycamore Capital Franchise which had an aggregate of $14.3 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018.

·

General domestic and global economic and political conditions can influence AUM. Changes in interest rates, the availability and cost of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws, trade barriers, commodity prices, currency exchange rates and controls and national and international political circumstances (including wars, terrorist acts and security operations) and other conditions may impact the equity and credit markets, which may influence our AUM. If the security markets decline or experience volatility, our AUM and our revenues could be negatively impacted. In addition, diminishing investor confidence in the markets and/or adverse market conditions could result in a decrease in investor risk tolerance. Such a decrease could prompt investors to reduce their rate of commitment or to fully withdraw from markets, which could lower our overall AUM.

·

Capital and credit markets can experience substantial volatility. The significant volatility in the markets in the recent past has highlighted the interconnection of the global markets and demonstrated how the deteriorating financial condition of one institution may materially adversely impact the performance of other institutions. In the event of extreme circumstances, including economic, political or business crises, such as a widespread systemic failure in the global financial system or failures of firms that have significant obligations as counterparties, we may suffer significant declines in AUM and severe liquidity or valuation issues.

·

Changes in interest rates can have adverse effects on our AUM. Increases in interest rates may adversely affect the net asset values of our AUM. Furthermore, increases in interest rates may result in reduced prices in equity markets. Conversely, decreases in interest rates could lead to outflows in fixed income assets that we manage as investors seek higher yields.

Any of these factors could reduce our AUM and revenues and, if our revenues decline without a commensurate reduction in our expenses, would lead to a reduction in our net income.

We derive substantially all of our revenues from contracts and relationships that may be terminated upon short or no notice.

We derive substantially all of our revenues from investment advisory and sub‑advisory agreements, all of which are terminable by clients upon short notice or no notice.

Our investment advisory agreements with registered funds, which are funds registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act, including mutual funds and ETFs, are generally terminable by the funds’ boards or a vote of a majority of the funds’ outstanding voting securities on not more than 60 days’ written notice, as required by law. After an initial term (not to exceed two years), each registered fund’s investment advisory agreement must be approved and renewed annually by that fund’s board, including by its independent members. In addition, all of our separate account clients and certain of the mutual funds that we sub‑advise have the ability to re‑allocate all or any portion of the assets that we manage away from us at any time with little or no notice. When a sub‑adviser terminates its sub‑advisory agreement to manage a fund that we advise there is a risk that investors in the fund could redeem their assets in the fund, which would cause our AUM to decrease.

These investment advisory agreements and client relationships may be terminated or not renewed for any number of reasons. The decrease in revenues that could result from the termination of a material client relationship or group of client relationships could have a material adverse effect on our business.

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Investors in certain funds that we advise can redeem their assets from those funds at any time without prior notice.

Investors in the mutual funds and certain other pooled investment vehicles that we advise or sub‑advise may redeem their assets from those funds at any time on fairly limited or no prior notice, thereby reducing our AUM. These investors may redeem for any number of reasons, including general financial market conditions, the absolute or relative investment performance we have achieved, or their own financial conditions and requirements. In a declining stock market, the pace of redemptions could accelerate. Poor investment performance relative to other funds tends to result in decreased client commitments and increased redemptions. For the year ended December 31, 2018, we generated approximately 87% of our total revenues from mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles that we advise (including our proprietary mutual funds, or the Victory Funds, VictoryShares, and other entities for which we are adviser or sub‑adviser). The redemption of assets from those funds could adversely affect our revenues and have a material adverse effect on our earnings.

If our strategies perform poorly, clients could redeem their assets and we could suffer a decline in our AUM, which would reduce our earnings.

The performance of our strategies is critical in retaining existing client assets as well as attracting new client assets. If our strategies perform poorly for any reason, our earnings could decline because:

·

our existing clients may redeem their assets from our strategies or terminate their relationships with us;

·

the Morningstar and Lipper ratings and rankings of mutual funds and ETFs we manage may decline, which may adversely affect the ability of those funds to attract new or retain existing assets; and

·

third‑party financial intermediaries, advisors or consultants may remove our investment products from recommended lists due to poor performance or for other reasons, which may lead our existing clients to redeem their assets from our strategies or reduce asset inflows from these third parties or their clients.

Our strategies can perform poorly for a number of reasons, including: general market conditions; investor sentiment about market and economic conditions; investment styles and philosophies; investment decisions; the performance of the companies in which our strategies invest and the currencies in which those investment are made; the fees we charge; the liquidity of securities or instruments in which our strategies invest; and our inability to identify sufficient appropriate investment opportunities for existing and new client assets on a timely basis. In addition, while we seek to deliver long‑term value to our clients, volatility may lead to under‑performance in the short term, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

In addition, when our strategies experience strong results relative to the market, clients’ allocations to our strategies typically increase relative to their other investments and we sometimes experience withdrawals as our clients rebalance their investments to fit their asset allocation preferences despite our strong results.

While clients do not have legal recourse against us solely on the basis of poor investment results, if our strategies perform poorly, we are more likely to become subject to litigation brought by dissatisfied clients. In addition, to the extent clients are successful in claiming that their losses resulted from fraud, negligence, willful misconduct, breach of contract or other similar misconduct, these clients may have remedies against us, the mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles we advise and/or our investment professionals under various U.S. and non‑U.S. laws.

The historical returns of our existing strategies may not be indicative of their future results or of the strategies we may develop in the future.

The historical returns of our strategies and the ratings and rankings we or the mutual funds and ETFs that we advise have received in the past should not be considered indicative of the future results of these strategies or of any other strategies that we may develop in the future. The investment performance we achieve for our clients varies over time and the variance can be wide. The ratings and rankings we or the mutual funds and ETFs we advise have received are typically

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revised monthly. Our strategies’ returns have benefited during some periods from investment opportunities and positive economic and market conditions. In other periods, general economic and market conditions have negatively affected investment opportunities and our strategies’ returns. These negative conditions may occur again, and in the future we may not be able to identify and invest in profitable investment opportunities within our current or future strategies.

New strategies that we launch or acquire in the future may present new and different investment, regulatory, operational, distribution and other risks than those presented by our current strategies. New strategies may invest in instruments with which we have no or limited experience, create portfolios that present new or different risks or have higher performance expectations that are more difficult to meet. Any real or perceived problems with future strategies or vehicles could cause a disproportionate negative impact on our business and reputation.

We depend on third parties to market our strategies.

Our ability to attract additional assets to manage is highly dependent on our access to third‑party intermediaries. We gain access to investors in the Victory Funds and VictoryShares primarily through consultants, 401(k) platforms, broker‑dealers, financial advisors and mutual fund platforms through which shares of the funds are sold. We have relationships with certain third‑party intermediaries through which we access clients in multiple distribution channels. Our 10 largest intermediary relationships across multiple distribution channels represented approximately 30% of our total AUM as of December 31, 2018.

We compensate most of the intermediaries through which we gain access to investors in the Victory Funds and VictoryShares by paying fees, most of which are a percentage of assets invested in the Victory Funds and VictoryShares through that intermediary and with respect to which that intermediary provides shareholder and administrative services. The allocation of such fees between us and the Victory Funds and VictoryShares is determined by the board of the Victory Funds and VictoryShares, based on information and a recommendation from us, with the intent of allocating to us all costs attributable to marketing and distribution of (i) shares of the Victory Funds not otherwise covered by distribution fees paid pursuant to a distribution and service plan adopted in accordance with Rule 12b‑1 under the 1940 Act and (ii) VictoryShares.

In the future, our expenses in connection with those intermediary relationships could increase if the portion of those fees determined to be in connection with marketing and distribution, or otherwise allocated to us, increased. Clients of these intermediaries may not continue to be accessible to us on terms we consider commercially reasonable, or at all. The absence of such access could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

We access institutional clients primarily through consultants. Our institutional business is dependent upon referrals from consultants. Many of these consultants review and evaluate our products and our firm from time to time. As of December 31, 2018, 35% of our institutional separate accounts AUM was acquired through consultants. Poor reviews or evaluations of either a particular strategy or us as an investment management firm may result in client withdrawals or may impair our ability to attract new assets through these consultants.

The loss of key investment professionals or members of our senior management team could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We depend on the skills and expertise of our portfolio managers and other investment professionals and our success depends on our ability to retain the key members of our investment teams, who possess substantial experience in investing and have been primarily responsible for the historical investment performance we have achieved.

Because of the tenure and stability of our portfolio managers, our clients may attribute the investment performance we have achieved to these individuals. The departure of a portfolio manager could cause clients to withdraw assets from the strategy, which would reduce our AUM, investment management fees and our net income. The departure of a portfolio manager also could cause consultants and intermediaries to stop recommending a strategy, clients to refrain from allocating additional assets to the strategy or delay such additional assets until a sufficient new track record has been established, and could also cause the departure of other portfolio managers or investment professionals. We have instituted

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succession planning at our Franchises in an attempt to minimize the disruption resulting from these potential changes, but we cannot predict whether such efforts will be successful.

We also rely upon the contributions of our senior management team to establish and implement our business strategy and to manage the future growth of our business. The loss of any of the senior management team could limit our ability to successfully execute our business strategy or adversely affect our ability to retain existing and attract new client assets and related revenues.

Any of our investment or management professionals may resign at any time, join our competitors or form a competing company. Although many of our portfolio managers and each of our named executive officers are subject to post‑employment non‑compete obligations, these non‑competition provisions may not be enforceable or may not be enforceable to their full extent. In addition, we may agree to waive non‑competition provisions or other restrictive covenants applicable to former investment or management professionals in light of the circumstances surrounding their relationship with us. We do not generally carry “key man” insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of any of the key members of our investment or management teams.

Competition for qualified investment and management professionals is intense and we may fail to successfully attract and retain qualified personnel in the future. Our ability to attract and retain these personnel will depend heavily on the amount and structure of compensation and opportunities for equity ownership we offer. Any cost‑reduction initiative or adjustments or reductions to compensation or changes to our equity ownership culture could cause instability within our existing investment teams and negatively impact our ability to retain key personnel. In addition, changes to our management structure, corporate culture and corporate governance arrangements could negatively impact our ability to retain key personnel.

We rely on third parties to provide products or services for the operation of our business, and a failure or inability by such parties to provide these products or services could materially adversely affect our business.

We have determined, based on an evaluation of various factors, that it is more efficient to use third parties for certain functions and services. As a result, we have contracted with a limited number of third parties to provide critical operational support, such as middle‑ and back‑office functions, information technology services and various fund administration and accounting roles, and the funds contract with third parties in custody and transfer agent roles. Our third parties with which we do business may also be sources of cybersecurity or other technological risks. While we engage in certain actions to reduce the exposure, such as collaborating to develop secure transmission capabilities, performing onsite security control assessments and limiting third party access to the least privileged level necessary to perform job functions, our business would be disrupted if key service providers fail or become unable to continue to perform those services or fail to protect against or respond to cyber-attacks, data breaches or other incidents. Moreover, to the extent our third‑party providers increase their pricing, our financial performance will be negatively impacted. In addition, upon termination of a third‑party contract, we may encounter difficulties in replacing the third‑party on favorable terms, transitioning services to another vendor, or in assuming those responsibilities ourselves, which may have a material adverse effect on our business.

Operational risks may disrupt our business, result in losses or limit our growth.

We are heavily dependent on the capacity and reliability of the communications, information and technology systems supporting our operations, whether developed, owned and operated by us or by third parties. We also rely on manual workflows and a variety of manual user controls. Operational risks such as trading or other operational errors or interruption of our financial, accounting, trading, compliance and other data processing systems, whether caused by human error, fire, other natural disaster or pandemic, power or telecommunications failure, cyber‑attack or viruses, act of terrorism or war or otherwise, could result in a disruption of our business, liability to clients, regulatory intervention or reputational damage, and thus materially adversely affect our business. The potential for some types of operational risks, including, for example, trading errors, may be increased in periods of increased volatility, which can magnify the cost of an error. Insurance and other safeguards might not be available or might only partially reimburse us for our losses.

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Although we have backup systems in place, our backup procedures and capabilities in the event of a failure or interruption may not be adequate. As our client base, number and complexity of strategies and client relationships increase, developing and maintaining our operational systems and infrastructure may become increasingly challenging.

We may also suffer losses due to employee negligence, fraud or misconduct. Non‑compliance with policies, employee misconduct, negligence or fraud could result in legal liability, regulatory sanctions and serious reputational or financial harm. In recent years, a number of multinational financial institutions have suffered material losses due to the actions of “rogue traders” or other employees. It is not always possible to deter or detect employee misconduct and the precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not always be effective. Employee misconduct could have a material adverse effect on our business.

The significant growth we have experienced over the past few years may be difficult to sustain and our growth strategy is dependent in part upon our ability to make and successfully integrate new strategic acquisitions.

Our AUM has increased from $17.9 billion following our 2013 management‑led buyout with Crestview GP from KeyCorp to $52.8 billion as of December 31, 2018, primarily as a result of acquisitions. The absolute measure of our AUM represents a significant rate of growth that may be difficult to sustain. The continued long‑term growth of our business will depend on, among other things, successfully making new acquisitions, retaining key investment professionals, maintaining existing strategies and selectively developing new, value‑added strategies. There is no certainty that we will be able to identify suitable candidates for acquisition at prices and terms we consider attractive, consummate any such acquisition on acceptable terms, have sufficient resources to complete an identified acquisition or that our strategy for pursuing acquisitions will be effective. In addition, any acquisition can involve a number of risks, including the existence of known, unknown or contingent liabilities. An acquisition may impose additional demands on our staff that could strain our operational resources and require expenditure of substantial legal, investment banking and accounting fees. We may be required to issue additional shares of common stock or spend significant cash to consummate an acquisition, resulting in dilution of ownership or additional debt leverage, or spend additional time and money on facilitating the acquisition that otherwise would be spent on the development and expansion of our existing business.

We may not be able to successfully manage the process of integrating an acquired company’s people and other applicable assets to extract the value and synergies projected to be realized in connection with the acquisition. The process of integrating operations could cause an interruption of, or loss of momentum in, the activities of one or more of our combined businesses and the possible loss of key personnel and AUM. The diversion of management’s attention and any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with acquisitions and the integration of an acquired company’s operations could have an adverse effect on our business.

Our business growth will also depend on our success in achieving superior investment performance from our strategies, as well as our ability to maintain and extend our distribution capabilities, to deal with changing market and industry conditions, to maintain adequate financial and business controls and to comply with new legal and regulatory requirements arising in response to both the increased sophistication of the investment management industry and the significant market and economic events of the last decade.

We may not be able to manage our growing business effectively or be able to sustain the level of growth we have achieved historically.

A majority of our existing AUM is managed in long‑only equity investments. We have also historically derived a substantial portion of our revenues from fees on investments in small‑ and mid‑cap equities and substantially all of our revenues from U.S. clients.

As of December 31, 2018, approximately 85% of our AUM was invested in U.S. and international equity. Under market conditions in which there is a general decline in the value of equity securities, the AUM in each of our equity strategies is likely to decline. Unlike some of our competitors, we do not currently offer strategies that invest in privately held companies or take short positions in equity securities, which could offset some of the poor performance of our long‑only equity strategies under such market conditions. Even if our investment performance remains strong during such market conditions relative to other long‑only equity strategies, investors may choose to withdraw assets from our

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management or allocate a larger portion of their assets to non‑long‑only or non‑equity strategies. In addition, the prices of equity securities may fluctuate more widely than the prices of other types of securities, making the level of our AUM and related revenues more volatile.

As of December 31, 2018, approximately 62% of our total AUM was concentrated in small‑ and mid‑cap equities. As a result, a substantial portion of our operating results depends upon the performance of those investments, and our ability to retain client assets in those investments. If a significant portion of the investors in such investments decided to withdraw their assets or terminate their investment advisory agreements for any reason, including poor investment performance or adverse market conditions, our revenues from those investments would decline, which would have a material adverse effect on our earnings and financial condition.

In addition, we have historically derived substantially all of our revenue from clients in the United States. If economic conditions weaken or slow, particularly in the United States, this could have a substantial adverse impact on our results of operations.

Our efforts to establish and develop new teams and strategies may be unsuccessful and could negatively impact our results of operations and could negatively impact our reputation and culture.

We seek to add new investment teams that invest in a way that is consistent with our philosophy of offering high value‑added strategies. We also look to offer new strategies managed by our existing teams. We expect the costs associated with establishing a new team and/or strategy initially to exceed the revenues generated, which will likely negatively impact our results of operations. If new strategies, whether managed by a new team or by an existing team, invest in instruments, or present operational issues and risks, with which we have little or no experience, it could strain our resources and increase the likelihood of an error or failure. See “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to the USAA AMCO Acquisition and the Harvest Acquisition.”

In addition, the historical returns of our existing strategies may not be indicative of the investment performance of any new strategy, and the poor performance of any new strategy could negatively impact the reputation of our other strategies.

We may support the development of new strategies by making one or more seed investments using capital that would otherwise be available for our general corporate purposes and acquisitions. Making such a seed investment could expose us to potential capital losses.

The performance of our strategies or the growth of our AUM may be constrained by unavailability of appropriate investment opportunities.

The ability of our investment teams to deliver strong investment performance depends in large part on their ability to identify appropriate investment opportunities in which to invest client assets. If the investment team for any of our strategies is unable to identify sufficient appropriate investment opportunities for existing and new client assets on a timely basis, the investment performance of the strategy could be adversely affected. In addition, if we determine that sufficient investment opportunities are not available for a strategy, we may choose to limit the growth of the strategy by limiting the rate at which we accept additional client assets for management under the strategy, closing the strategy to all or substantially all new investors or otherwise taking action to limit the flow of assets into the strategy. If we misjudge the point at which it would be optimal to limit access to or close a strategy, the investment performance of the strategy could be negatively impacted. The risk that sufficient appropriate investment opportunities may be unavailable is influenced by a number of factors, including general market conditions, but is particularly acute with respect to our strategies that focus on small‑ and mid‑cap equities, and is likely to increase as our AUM increases, particularly if these increases occur very rapidly. By limiting the growth of strategies, we may be managing the business in a manner that reduces the total amount of our AUM and our investment management fees over the short term.

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An assignment could result in termination of our investment advisory agreements to manage SEC‑registered funds and could trigger consent requirements in our other investment advisory agreements.

Under the 1940 Act, each of the investment advisory agreements between registered funds and our subsidiary, VCM, and investment sub‑advisory agreements between the investment adviser to a registered fund and VCM, will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act.

Assignment, as generally defined under the 1940 Act and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, or the Advisers Act, includes direct assignments as well as assignments that may be deemed to occur, under certain circumstances, upon the direct or indirect transfer of a “controlling block” of our outstanding voting securities. A transaction is not an assignment under the 1940 Act or the Advisers Act, however, if it does not result in a change of actual control or management of VCM.

Upon the occurrence of such an assignment, VCM could continue to act as adviser or sub‑adviser to any such registered fund only if that fund’s board and shareholders approved a new investment advisory agreement, except in the case of certain of the registered funds that we sub‑advise for which only board approval would be necessary pursuant to a manager‑of‑managers SEC exemptive order. In addition, as required by the Advisers Act, each of the investment advisory agreements for the separate accounts and pooled investment vehicles we manage provides that it may not be assigned, as defined in the Advisers Act, without the consent of the client. If an assignment were to occur, we cannot be certain that we would be able to obtain the necessary approvals from the boards and shareholders of the registered funds we advise or the necessary consents from our separate account or pooled investment vehicle clients.

If an assignment of an investment advisory agreement is deemed to occur, and our clients do not consent to the assignment or enter into a new agreement, our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Reputational harm could result in a loss of AUM and revenues.

The integrity of our brands and reputation is critical to our ability to attract and retain clients, business partners and employees and maintain relationships with consultants. We operate within the highly regulated financial services industry and various potential scenarios could result in harm to our reputation. They include internal operational failures, failure to follow investment or legal guidelines in the management of accounts, intentional or unintentional misrepresentation of our products and services in offering or advertising materials, public relations information, social media or other external communications, employee misconduct or investments in businesses or industries that are controversial to certain special interest groups. Any real or perceived conflict between our and our shareholders’ interests and our clients’ interests, as well as any fraudulent activity or other exposure of client assets or information, may harm our reputation. The negative publicity associated with any of these factors could harm our reputation and adversely impact relationships with existing and potential clients, third‑party distributors, consultants and other business partners and subject us to regulatory sanctions or litigation. Damage to our brands or reputation could negatively impact our standing in the industry and result in loss of business in both the short term and the long term.

Additionally, while we have ultimate control over the business activities of our Franchises, they generally have the autonomy to manage their day‑to‑day operations, and if we fail to intervene in potentially serious matters that may arise, our reputation could be damaged and our results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Our failure to comply with investment guidelines set by our clients, including the boards of registered funds, and limitations imposed by applicable law, could result in damage awards against us and a loss of AUM, either of which could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.

When clients retain us to manage assets on their behalf, they generally specify certain guidelines regarding investment allocation and strategy that we are required to follow in managing their assets. The boards of registered funds we manage generally establish similar guidelines regarding the investment of assets in those funds. We are also required to invest the registered funds’ assets in accordance with limitations under the 1940 Act and applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Internal Revenue Code. Other clients, such as plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, or ERISA, or non‑U.S. funds, require us to invest their

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assets in accordance with applicable law. Our failure to comply with any of these guidelines and other limitations could result in losses to clients or investors in a fund which, depending on the circumstances, could result in our obligation to make clients or fund investors whole for such losses. If we believed that the circumstances did not justify a reimbursement, or clients and investors believed the reimbursement we offered was insufficient, they could seek to recover damages from us or could withdraw assets from our management or terminate their investment advisory agreement with us. Any of these events could harm our reputation and materially adversely affect our business.

If our techniques for managing risk are ineffective, we may be exposed to material unanticipated losses.

In order to manage the significant risks inherent in our business, we must maintain effective policies, procedures and systems that enable us to identify, monitor and mitigate our exposure to operational, legal and reputational risks, including from the investment autonomy of our Franchises. Our risk management methods may prove to be ineffective due to their design or implementation, or as a result of the lack of adequate, accurate or timely information or otherwise. If our risk management efforts are ineffective, we could suffer losses that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or operating results. Additionally, we could be subject to litigation, particularly from our clients or investors, and sanctions or fines from regulators.

Our techniques for managing operational, legal and reputational risks in client portfolios may not fully mitigate the risk exposure in all economic or market environments, including exposure to risks that we might fail to identify or anticipate. Because our clients invest in our strategies in order to gain exposure to the portfolio securities of the respective strategies, we have not adopted corporate‑level risk management policies to manage market, interest rate or exchange rate risks that could affect the value of our overall AUM.

We provide a broad range of services to the Victory Funds, VictoryShares and sub‑advised mutual funds which may expose us to liability.

We provide a broad range of administrative services to the Victory Funds and VictoryShares, including providing personnel to the Victory Funds and VictoryShares to serve as directors and officers, the preparation or supervision of the preparation of the Victory Funds’ and VictoryShares’ regulatory filings, maintenance of board calendars and preparation or supervision of the preparation of board meeting materials, management of compliance and regulatory matters, provision of shareholder services and communications, accounting services, including the supervision of the activities of the Victory Funds’ and VictoryShares’ accounting services provider in the calculation of the funds’ net asset values, supervision of the preparation of the Victory Funds’ and VictoryShares’ financial statements and coordination of the audits of those financial statements, tax services, including calculation of dividend and distribution amounts and supervision of tax return preparation, supervision of the work of the Victory Funds’ and VictoryShares’ other service providers and VCA acting as a distributor. If we make a mistake in the provision of those services, the Victory Funds or VictoryShares could incur costs for which we might be liable. In addition, if it were determined that the Victory Funds or VictoryShares failed to comply with applicable regulatory requirements as a result of action or failure to act by our employees, we could be responsible for losses suffered or penalties imposed. In addition, we could have penalties imposed on us, be required to pay fines or be subject to private litigation, any of which could decrease our future income or negatively affect our current business or our future growth prospects. Although less extensive than the range of services we provide to the Victory Funds and VictoryShares, we also provide a limited range of services, in addition to investment management services, to sub‑advised mutual funds.

In addition, we from time to time provide information to the funds for which we act as sub‑adviser (or to a person or entity providing administrative services to such a fund), and to UCITS, for which we act as investment manager (or to the promotor of the UCITS or a person or entity providing administrative services to such a UCITS), which is used by those funds or UCITS in their efforts to comply with various regulatory requirements. If we make a mistake in the provision of those services, the sub‑advised fund or UCITS could incur costs for which we might be liable. In addition, if it were determined that the sub‑advised fund or UCITS failed to comply with applicable regulatory requirements as a result of action or failure to act by our employees, we could be responsible for losses suffered or penalties imposed. In addition, we could have penalties imposed on us, be required to pay fines or be subject to private litigation, any of which could decrease our future income or negatively affect our current business or our future growth prospects.

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Failure to implement effective information and cyber security policies, procedures and capabilities could disrupt operations and cause financial losses.

Our operations rely on the effectiveness of our information and cyber security policies, procedures and capabilities to provide secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other information in our computer systems, software, networks and mobile devices and on the computer systems, software, networks and mobile devices of third parties on which we rely. Although we maintain a system of internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that fraudulent activity is either prevented or detected on a timely basis and we take other protective measures and endeavor to modify them as circumstances warrant, our computer systems, software, networks and mobile devices may be vulnerable to cyber‑attacks, sabotage, unauthorized access, computer viruses, worms or other malicious code, and other events that have a security impact. In addition, our interconnectivity with service providers and other third parties may be adversely affected if any of them are subject to a successful cyber-attack or other information security event. While we collaborate with service providers and other third parties to develop secure transmission capabilities and other measures to protect against cyber-attacks, we cannot ensure that we or any third party has all appropriate controls in place to protect the confidentiality of such information.

An externally caused information security incident, such as a hacker attack, virus or worm, or an internally caused issue, such as failure to control access to sensitive systems, could materially interrupt business operations or cause disclosure or modification of sensitive or confidential client or competitive information and could result in material financial loss, loss of competitive position, regulatory actions, breach of clients contracts, reputational harm or legal liability. If one or more of such events occur, it could potentially jeopardize our or our clients’, employees’ or counterparties’ confidential and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our or third‑party computer systems, software, networks and mobile devices, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our, our clients’, our counterparties’ or third parties’ operations. As a result, we could experience material financial loss, loss of competitive position, regulatory fines and/or sanctions, breach of client contracts, reputational harm or legal liability, which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Additionally, some of our client contracts require us to indemnify clients in the event of a cyber breach if our systems do not meet minimum security standards. We may be required to spend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures, and we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured against fully or not fully covered through any insurance that we maintain.

Further, recent well-publicized security breaches at other companies have led to enhanced government and regulatory scrutiny of the measures taken by companies to protect against cyber-attacks and data privacy breaches, and have resulted in heightened security requirements, including additional regulatory expectations for oversight of vendors and service providers. For example, in May 2018, the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation became effective, and similar regulations are also being considered in other jurisdictions.

Certain of our strategies invest principally in the securities of non‑U.S. companies, which involve foreign currency exchange, tax, political, social and economic uncertainties and risks.

As of December 31, 2018, approximately 9% of our total AUM was invested in strategies that primarily invest in securities of non‑U.S. companies and securities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could negatively affect the returns of our clients who are invested in these securities. In addition, an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to non‑U.S. currencies is likely to result in a decrease in the U.S. dollar value of our AUM, which, in turn, would likely result in lower revenue and profits.

Investments in non‑U.S. issuers may also be affected by tax positions taken in countries or regions in which we are invested as well as political, social and economic uncertainty. Declining tax revenues may cause governments to assert their ability to tax the local gains and/or income of foreign investors (including our clients), which could adversely affect client interests in investing outside their home markets. Many financial markets are not as developed, or as efficient, as the U.S. financial markets, and, as a result, those markets may have limited liquidity and higher price volatility, and may lack established regulations. Liquidity may also be adversely affected by political or economic events, government

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policies, and social or civil unrest within a particular country, and our ability to dispose of an investment may also be adversely affected if we increase the size of our investments in smaller non‑U.S. issuers. Non‑U.S. legal and regulatory environments, including financial accounting standards and practices, may also be different, and there may be less publicly available information about such companies. These risks could adversely affect the performance of our strategies that are invested in securities of non‑U.S. issuers and may be particularly acute in the emerging or less developed markets in which we invest. In addition to our Trivalent, Sophus, Expedition Franchises, certain of our other Franchises and Solutions Platform invest in emerging or less developed markets.

The expansion of our business outside of the United States raises tax and regulatory risks, may adversely affect our profit margins and places additional demands on our resources and employees.

We have expanded and intend to continue to expand our distribution efforts into non‑U.S. markets through partnered distribution efforts and product offerings, including Europe, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. For example, we organized and serve as investment manager of two Ireland‑domiciled UCITS, the Victory Sophus Emerging Markets UCITS Fund and the Victory Expedition Emerging Markets Small Cap UCITS Fund. Clients outside the United States may be adversely affected by political, social and economic uncertainty in their respective home countries and regions, which could result in a decrease in the net client cash flows that come from such clients. This expansion has required and will continue to require us to incur a number of up‑front expenses, including those associated with obtaining and maintaining regulatory approvals and office space, as well as additional ongoing expenses, including those associated with leases, the employment of additional support staff and regulatory compliance.

Non‑U.S. clients may be less accepting of the U.S. practice of payment for certain research products and services through soft dollars (“soft dollars” are a means of paying brokerage firms for their services through commission revenue, rather than through direct payments) or such practices may not be permissible in certain jurisdictions, which could have the effect of increasing our expenses. In addition, the European Commission adopted several acts under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (known as “MiFID II”) that prevent the “bundling” of the cost of research together with trading commissions. As a result, clients subject to MiFID II may be unable to use soft dollars to pay for research services in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

Our U.S.‑based employees routinely travel outside the United States as a part of our investment research process or to market our services and may spend extended periods of time in one or more non‑U.S. jurisdictions. Their activities outside the United States on our behalf may raise both tax and regulatory issues. If and to the extent we are incorrect in our analysis of the applicability or impact of non‑U.S. tax or regulatory requirements, we could incur costs or penalties or be the subject of an enforcement or other action. Operating our business in non‑U.S. markets is generally more expensive than in the United States. In addition, costs related to our distribution and marketing efforts in non‑U.S. markets generally have been more expensive than comparable costs in the United States. To the extent that our revenues do not increase to the same degree as our expenses increase in connection with our continuing expansion outside the United States, our profitability could be adversely affected. Expanding our business into non‑U.S. markets may also place significant demands on our existing infrastructure and employees.

We are also subject to a number of laws and regulations governing payments and contributions to political persons or other third parties, including restrictions imposed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, as well as trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State. Similar laws in non‑U.S. jurisdictions may also impose stricter or more onerous requirements and implementing them may disrupt our business or cause us to incur significantly more costs to comply with those laws. Different laws may also contain conflicting provisions, making compliance with all laws more difficult. Any determination that we have violated the FCPA or other applicable anti‑corruption laws or sanctions could subject us to, among other things, civil and criminal penalties, material fines, profit disgorgement, injunctions on future conduct, securities litigation and a general loss of investor confidence, any one of which could adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition, results of operations or the market value of our Class A common stock. While we have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure strict compliance by us and our personnel with the FCPA and other anti‑corruption laws or sanctions in jurisdictions in which we operate, such policies and procedures may not be effective in all instances to prevent violations.

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Following the June 2016 vote to exit the EU, the United Kingdom (“UK”) served notice under Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union on March 29, 2017 to initiate the two-year long process of exiting from the EU, commonly referred to as “Brexit”. There is substantial uncertainty surrounding the terms upon which the UK will ultimately exit the EU. As a result, the UK’s relationship with the EU, as well as whether an agreement will be reached by the March 29, 2019 exit deadline, remains unclear. Moreover, the passage of time without a resolution in place may have adverse effects on the United Kingdom, European and worldwide economy and market conditions and contribute to currency exchange fluctuations. Although we do not currently expect Brexit to have a major impact on our business, any negative impact to overall investor confidence or instability in the global macroeconomic environment could have an adverse economic impact on our results of operations.

Our substantial indebtedness may expose us to material risks.

As of December 31, 2018, we had $280.0 million of outstanding term loans under the Existing Credit Agreement. Our substantial indebtedness may make it more difficult for us to withstand or respond to adverse or changing business, regulatory and economic conditions or to take advantage of new business opportunities or make necessary capital expenditures. In addition, the Existing Credit Agreement contains financial and operating covenants that may limit our ability to conduct our business. While we are currently in compliance in all material respects with the financial and operating covenants under the Existing Credit Agreement, we cannot assure that at all times in the future we will satisfy all such financial and operating covenants (or any such covenants applicable at the time) or obtain any required waiver or amendment, in which event all outstanding indebtedness could become immediately due and payable. This could result in a substantial reduction in our liquidity and could challenge our ability to meet future cash needs of the business.

To the extent we service our debt from our cash flow, such cash will not be available for our operations or other purposes. Because of our significant debt service obligations, the portion of our cash flow used to service those obligations could be substantial if our revenues decline, whether because of market declines or for other reasons. Any substantial decrease in net operating cash flows or any substantial increase in expenses could make it difficult for us to meet our debt service requirements or force us to modify our operations. Our ability to repay the principal amount of any outstanding loans under the Existing Credit Agreement, to refinance our debt or to obtain additional financing through debt or the sale of additional equity securities will depend on our performance, as well as financial, business and other general economic factors affecting the credit and equity markets generally or our business in particular, many of which are beyond our control. Any such alternatives may not be available to us on satisfactory terms or at all. See “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to the USAA AMCO Acquisition and the Harvest Acquisition.”

Potential impairment of goodwill and intangible assets could reduce our assets.

As of December 31, 2018, our goodwill and intangible assets totaled $671.8 million. The value of these assets may not be realized for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, significant redemptions, loss of clients, damage to brand name and unfavorable economic conditions. In accordance with the guidance under Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, ASC 350‑20 “Intangibles—Goodwill and Other,” we review the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets not subject to amortization on an annual basis, or more frequently if indications exist suggesting that the fair value of our intangible assets may be below their carrying value. Determining goodwill and intangible assets, and evaluating them for impairment, requires significant management estimates and judgment, including estimating value and assessing useful life in connection with the allocation of purchase price in the acquisition creating them. We evaluate the value of intangible assets subject to amortization whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Should such reviews indicate impairment, a reduction of the carrying value of the intangible asset could occur, resulting in a charge that may, in turn, adversely affect our AUM, results of operations and financial condition.

Disruption to the operations of third parties whose functions are integral to our ETF platform may adversely affect the prices at which VictoryShares trade, particularly during periods of market volatility.

Shares of ETFs, such as VictoryShares, trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below the ETF’s most recent net asset value. While ETFs utilize a creation/redemption feature and arbitrage mechanism designed to make it more likely that the ETF’s shares normally will trade at prices close to the ETF’s net asset value, exchange prices may deviate

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significantly from the ETF’s net asset value. ETF market prices are subject to numerous potential risks, including trading halts invoked by a stock exchange, inability or unwillingness of market makers, authorized participants, settlement systems or other market participants to perform functions necessary for an ETF’s arbitrage mechanism to function effectively, or significant market volatility. If market events lead to incidences where ETFs trade at prices that deviate significantly from an ETF’s net asset value, or trading halts are invoked by the relevant stock exchange or market, investors may lose confidence in ETF products and redeem their holdings, which may cause our AUM, revenue and earnings to decline.

If we were deemed an investment company required to register under the 1940 Act, we would become subject to burdensome regulatory requirements and our business activities could be restricted.

Generally, a company is an “investment company” required to register under the 1940 Act if, absent an applicable exception or exemption, it (i) is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities; or (ii) engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and owns or proposes to acquire “investment securities” having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis.

We hold ourselves out as an investment management firm and do not propose to engage primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities. We believe we are engaged primarily in the business of providing investment management services and not in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities. We also believe our primary source of income is properly characterized as income earned in exchange for the provision of services. We believe less than 40% of our total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis comprise assets that could be considered investment securities.

We intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company required to register under the 1940 Act. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company required to register under the 1940 Act, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with our affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as currently conducted and could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance and operations.

Our expenses are subject to fluctuations that could materially impact our results of operations.

Our results of operations are dependent upon the level of our expenses, which can vary from period to period. We have certain fixed expenses that we incur as a going concern, and some of those expenses are not subject to adjustment. If our revenues decrease, without a corresponding decrease in expenses, our results of operations would be negatively impacted. While a majority of our expenses are variable and we attempt to project expense levels in advance, there is no guarantee that an unforeseen expense will not arise or that we will be able to adjust our variable expenses quickly enough to match a declining asset base. Consequently, either event could have either a temporary or permanent negative impact on our results of operations.

Risks Relating to Our Industry

Recent trends in the investment management industry could reduce our AUM, revenues and net income.

Certain passive products and asset classes, such as index and certain types of ETFs, are becoming increasingly popular with investors, including institutional investors. In recent years, across the investment management industry, passive products have experienced inflows and traditional actively managed products have experienced outflows, in each case, in the aggregate. In order to maintain appropriate fee levels in a competitive environment, we must be able to continue to provide clients with investment products and services that are viewed as appropriate in relation to the fees charged, which may require us to demonstrate that our strategies can outperform such passive products. If our clients, including our funds’ boards, were to view our fees as being high relative to the market or the returns provided by our investment products, we may choose to reduce our fee levels or existing clients may withdraw their assets in order to invest in passive products, and we may be unable to attract additional commitments from existing and new clients, which would lead to a decline in

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our AUM and market share. To the extent we offer such passive products, we may not be able to compete with other firms offering similar products.

Our revenues and net income are dependent on our ability to maintain current fee levels for the products and services we offer. The competitive nature of the investment management industry has led to a trend toward lower fees in certain segments of the investment management market. Our ability to sustain fee levels depends on future growth in specific asset classes and distribution channels. These factors, as well as regulatory changes, could further inhibit our ability to sustain fees for certain products. A reduction in the fees charged by us could reduce our revenues and net income.

Our fees vary by asset class and produce different revenues per dollar of AUM based on factors such as the type of assets being managed, the applicable strategy, the type of client and the client fee schedule. Institutional clients may have significant negotiating leverage in establishing the terms of an advisory relationship, particularly with respect to the level of fees paid, and the competitive pressure to attract and retain institutional clients may impact the level of fee income earned by us. We may decline to manage assets from potential clients who demand lower fees even though such assets would increase our revenue and AUM in the short term.

As an investment management firm, we are subject to extensive regulation.

Investment management firms are subject to extensive regulation in the United States, primarily at the federal level, including regulation by the SEC under the 1940 Act and the Advisers Act, by the U.S. Department of Labor, or the DOL, under ERISA, by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or the CFTC, by the National Futures Association, or NFA, under the Commodity Exchange Act, and by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., or FINRA. The U.S. mutual funds and ETFs we manage are registered with and regulated by the SEC as investment companies under the 1940 Act. The Advisers Act imposes numerous obligations on investment advisers, including recordkeeping, advertising and operating requirements, disclosure obligations and prohibitions on fraudulent activities. The 1940 Act imposes similar obligations, as well as additional detailed operational requirements, on registered funds, which must be adhered to by their investment advisers. We have also expanded our distribution effort into non‑U.S. markets through partnered distribution efforts and product offerings, including Europe, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. In the future, we may further expand our business outside of the United States in such a way or to such an extent that we may be required to register with additional foreign regulatory agencies or otherwise comply with additional non‑U.S. laws and regulations that do not currently apply to us and with respect to which we do not have compliance experience. Our lack of experience in complying with any such non‑U.S. laws and regulations may increase our risk of being subject to regulatory actions and becoming party to litigation in such non‑U.S. jurisdictions, which could be more expensive. Moreover, being subject to regulation in multiple jurisdictions may increase the cost, complexity and time required for engaging in transactions that require regulatory approval.

Accordingly, we face the risk of significant intervention by regulatory authorities, including extended investigation and surveillance activity, adoption of costly or restrictive new regulations and judicial or administrative proceedings that may result in substantial penalties. Among other things, we could be fined, lose our licenses or be prohibited or limited from engaging in some of our business activities or corporate transactions. The requirements imposed by our regulators are designed to ensure the integrity of the financial markets and to protect clients and other third parties who deal with us, and are not designed to protect our shareholders. Consequently, these regulations often serve to limit our activities, including through net capital, client protection and market conduct requirements.

The regulatory environment in which we operate is subject to continual change and regulatory developments designed to increase oversight may materially adversely affect our business.

We operate in a legislative and regulatory environment that is subject to continual change, the nature of which we cannot predict. We may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the SEC, other U.S. or non‑U.S. governmental regulatory authorities or self‑regulatory organizations that supervise the financial markets. The SEC and its staff are currently engaged in various initiatives and reviews that seek to improve and modernize the regulatory structure governing the asset management industry, and registered investment companies in particular. In so doing, it has adopted rules that include (i) new monthly and annual reporting requirements for certain U.S. registered funds; (ii) enhanced reporting regimes for investment advisers; and (iii) implementing liquidity risk management

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programs for ETFs and open-end funds. These rules, many of which are currently in an implementation period, will increase our public reporting and disclosure requirements, which could be costly and may impede the Company’s growth. In addition, in June 2018, the SEC issued a proposed rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act’) known as the “ETF Rule”. The ETF Rule is intended to establish a clear and consistent framework that, if adopted, would allow most types of ETFs operating under the Investment Company Act to come to market without applying for individual exemptive orders.

The requirements imposed by our regulators (including both U.S. and non‑U.S. regulators) are designed to ensure the integrity of the financial markets and to protect clients and other third parties who deal with us, and are not designed to protect our shareholders. Consequently, these regulations often serve to limit our activities and/or increase our costs, including through client protection and market conduct requirements. New laws or regulations, or changes in the enforcement of existing laws or regulations, applicable to us and our clients may adversely affect our business. Our ability to function in this environment will depend on our ability to constantly monitor and promptly react to legislative and regulatory changes. There have been a number of highly publicized regulatory inquiries that have focused on the investment management industry. These inquiries already have resulted in increased scrutiny of the industry and new rules and regulations for mutual funds and investment managers. This regulatory scrutiny may limit our ability to engage in certain activities that might be beneficial to our shareholders.

We also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental authorities and self‑regulatory organizations, as well as by courts. It is impossible to determine the extent of the impact of any new U.S. or non‑U.S. laws, regulations or initiatives that may be proposed, or whether any of the proposals will become law. Compliance with any new laws or regulations could be more difficult and expensive and affect the manner in which we conduct business. See “Regulatory Environment and Compliance.”

The investment management industry is intensely competitive.

The investment management industry is intensely competitive, with competition based on a variety of factors, including investment performance, fees, continuity of investment professionals and client relationships, the quality of services provided to clients, corporate positioning and business reputation, continuity of selling arrangements with intermediaries and differentiated products. A number of factors, including the following, serve to increase our competitive risks:

·

a number of our competitors have greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources, more comprehensive name recognition and more personnel than we do;

·

potential competitors have a relatively low cost of entering the investment management industry;

·

certain investors may prefer to invest with an investment manager that is not publicly traded based on the perception that a publicly traded asset manager may focus on the manager’s own growth to the detriment of investment performance for clients;

·

other industry participants, hedge funds and alternative asset managers may seek to recruit our investment professionals; and

·

certain competitors charge lower fees for their investment management services than we do.

Additionally, intermediaries through which we distribute our funds may also sell their own proprietary funds and investment products, which could limit the distribution of our strategies. If we are unable to compete effectively, our earnings could be reduced and our business could be materially adversely affected.

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Risks Relating to Our Capital Structure

A relatively large percentage of our common stock is concentrated with a small number of shareholders, which could increase the volatility in our stock trading and affect our share price.

 

A large percentage of our common stock is held by a limited number of shareholders. If our larger shareholders decide to liquidate their positions, it could cause significant fluctuation in the share price of our common stock. Public companies with a relatively concentrated level of institutional shareholders, such as we have, often have difficulty generating trading volume in their stock, which may increase the volatility in the price of our common stock.

 

The market price of our Class A common stock is likely to be volatile and could decline.

The stock market in general has been highly volatile. As a result, the market price and trading volume for our Class A common stock may also be highly volatile, and investors in our Class A common stock may experience a decrease in the value of their shares, including decreases unrelated to our operating performance or prospects. Factors that could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to fluctuate significantly include:

·

our operating and financial performance and prospects and the performance of other similar companies;

·

our quarterly or annual earnings or those of other companies in our industry;

·

conditions that impact demand for our products and services;

·

the public’s reaction to our press releases, financial guidance and other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;

·

changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities or research analysts who track our Class A common stock;

·

market and industry perception of our level of success in pursuing our growth strategy;

·

strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;

·

changes in government and other regulations;

·

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

·

departure of key personnel;

·

the number of shares publicly traded;

·

investor scrutiny of our dual‑class structure, including new rules adopted by certain index providers, such as S&P Dow Jones and FTSE Russell, that limit or preclude inclusion of companies with multiple‑class capital structure in certain indices;

·

sales of common stock by us, our investors or members of our management team; and

·

changes in general market, economic and political conditions in the U.S. and global economies or financial markets, including those resulting from natural disasters, telecommunications failures, cyber‑attacks, civil unrest in various parts of the world, acts of war, terrorist attacks or other catastrophic events.

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Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the trading volume and market price of our Class A common stock.

Following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, shareholders often file securities class‑action lawsuits against such company. Our involvement in a class‑action lawsuit could divert our senior management’s attention and, if adversely determined, could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those shareholders who hold our Class B common stock.

Our Class B common stock has ten votes per share and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. Our Employee Shareholders Committee, Crestview GP, Reverence Capital, our directors and executive officers and each of and their respective affiliates, hold in the aggregate 98.8% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock and the unvested restricted stock as of December 31, 2018. Because of the ten‑to‑one voting ratio between our Class B common stock and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively will continue to control a majority of the voting power of our common stock and therefore will be able to control all matters submitted to our shareholders for approval. Our Class B common stock will be converted into shares of Class A common stock, which conversion will occur automatically, in the case of each share of Class B common stock, upon transfers (subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes), a termination of employment by an employee shareholder or upon the date the number of shares of Class B common stock then outstanding (including unvested restricted shares) is less than 10% of the aggregate number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock then outstanding (including unvested restricted shares). We may issue additional shares of our Class B common stock in the future, including in connection with acquisitions or equity grants to employees.

The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term, including the holders of newly issued shares of Class B common stock and the holders of Class B common stock subject to the Employee Shareholders’ Agreement, whose shares will be voted by the Employee Shareholders Committee.

Crestview GP controls us and its interests may conflict with ours or other shareholders’ in the future.

Crestview GP does not hold any of our Class A common stock, but beneficially owns 52.2% of our common stock through its beneficial ownership of our Class B common stock and 64.6% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock and unvested restricted stock as of December 31, 2018. As a result, Crestview GP has the ability to elect a majority of the members of our board of directors and thereby control our policies and operations, including the appointment of management, future issuances of our common stock or other securities, the payment of dividends, if any, on our common stock (including the Class A common stock), the incurrence of debt by us, amendments to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, and the entering into of extraordinary transactions. Crestview GP will also be able to determine the outcome of all matters requiring shareholder approval and will be able to cause or prevent a change in control of us or a change in the composition of our board of directors and could preclude any acquisition of us. This concentration of voting control could deprive other shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for shares of their Class A common stock as part of a sale of us and ultimately might affect the market price of our Class A common stock. Further, the interests of Crestview GP may not in all cases be aligned with other shareholders’ interests.

In addition, Crestview GP may have an interest in pursuing acquisitions, divestitures and other transactions that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment, even though such transactions might involve risks to other shareholders. For example, Crestview GP could cause us to make acquisitions that increase our indebtedness or cause us to sell revenue‑generating assets. Crestview GP is in the business of making investments in companies and may from time to time acquire and hold interests in businesses that compete directly or indirectly with us. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that none of Crestview GP or Reverence Capital or any of their respective affiliates will have any duty to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in the same business activities or similar business activities or lines of business in which we operate. Crestview GP or Reverence Capital also may pursue acquisition

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opportunities that may be complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us, which could have an adverse effect on our growth prospects.

Future sales of shares by shareholders could cause our stock price to decline.

Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline. As of February 28, 2019, 14,555,975 shares of our Class A common stock and 52,940,026 shares of our Class B common stock, which are convertible, at the option of the holder, into an equal number of shares of Class A common stock, are outstanding. Of these shares, all of the shares of Class A common stock is freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act, unless purchased by our “affiliates,” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. The 52,940,026 shares of our Class B common stock held by Crestview GP, Reverence Capital, our directors and officers and other existing shareholders, are “restricted securities” within the meaning of Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Restricted securities may be sold in the public market only if they are registered under the Securities Act or are sold pursuant to an exemption from registration under Rule 144 or Rule 701 under the Securities Act.

In the future, we may issue additional shares of common stock or other equity or debt securities convertible into common stock in connection with a financing, acquisition or employee arrangement, or in certain other circumstances. Any of these issuances could result in substantial dilution to our existing shareholders and could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If there is no coverage of us by securities or industry analysts, the trading price for our shares could be negatively impacted. In the event we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage and if one or more of these analysts downgrades our shares or publishes misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our shares could decrease, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and any decision on our part to comply with certain reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, enacted in April 2012, and, for as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies, including, but not limited to, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation (including Chief Executive Officer pay ratio disclosure) in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. As an emerging growth company, we have elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of issuers who are required to comply with the effective dates for new or revised accounting standards that are applicable to public companies.

We may take advantage of these exemptions until such time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information provided by other public companies. We could remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, or until the earliest of (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues are at least $1.07 billion, (ii) the date that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b‑2 under the Exchange Act, which would occur if, among other things, the market value of our common equity securities held by non‑affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently

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completed second fiscal quarter, or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt securities during the preceding three‑year period.

We cannot predict whether investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on one or more of the exemptions described above. If investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result of any decisions to reduce future disclosure, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources and distract our management, which could make it difficult to manage our business, particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.”

Prior to February 2018, we operated as a private company and had not been subject to the same financial and other reporting and corporate governance requirements of a public company. As a public company, we are now required to file annual, quarterly and other reports with the SEC. We need to prepare and timely file financial statements that comply with SEC reporting requirements. We also are subject to other reporting and corporate governance requirements under the listing standards of NASDAQ and the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act, which impose significant compliance costs and obligations upon us. Being a public company requires a significant commitment of additional resources and management oversight, which add to operating costs. These changes place significant additional demands on our finance and accounting staff, which may not have prior public company experience or experience working for a newly public company, and on our financial accounting and information systems, and we may need to, in the future, hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company reporting experience and technical accounting knowledge. Other expenses associated with being a public company include increases in auditing, accounting and legal fees and expenses, investor relations expenses, increased directors’ fees and director and officer liability insurance costs, registrar and transfer agent fees and listing fees, as well as other expenses. As a public company, we are required, among other things, to:

·

prepare and file periodic reports, and distribute other shareholder communications, in compliance with the federal securities laws and the NASDAQ rules;

·

define and expand the roles and the duties of our board of directors and its committees;

·

institute more comprehensive compliance, investor relations and internal audit functions; and

·

evaluate and maintain our system of internal control over financial reporting, and report on management’s assessment thereof, in compliance with rules and regulations of the SEC and the PCAOB.

In particular, the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act requires us to document and test the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in accordance with an established internal control framework, and to report on our conclusions as to the effectiveness of our internal controls. Currently we choose to utilize the exemption pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for “emerging growth companies” whereby our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. As described in the previous risk factor, we could potentially qualify as an emerging growth company until December 31, 2023. In addition, we are required under the Exchange Act to maintain disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. This could result in a decrease in the value of our Class A common stock. Failure to comply with the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act could potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities.

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Failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and stock price.

Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related SEC rules require that we perform an annual management assessment of the design and effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our assessment concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2018; however, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as such standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time in future periods. Accordingly, we cannot assure that we will be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Moreover, effective internal control is necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and is important to help prevent financial fraud. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports or prevent fraud, our business and operating results could be harmed, investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, and the trading price of our Class A common stock could drop significantly.

We do not currently intend to pay regular cash dividends on our common stock.

We have no current plans to declare and pay any cash dividends. We currently intend to retain all our future earnings, if any, to fund our growth. Therefore, the success of an investment in our Class A common stock will depend upon any future appreciation in its value. There is no guarantee that our Class A common stock will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our shareholders have purchased their shares.

Future offerings of debt or equity securities may rank senior to our Class A common stock.

If we decide to issue debt securities in the future, which would rank senior to shares of our common stock, it is likely that they will be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility. We and, indirectly, our shareholders will bear the cost of issuing and servicing such securities. We may also issue preferred equity, which will have superior rights relative to our common stock, including with respect to voting and liquidation.

Furthermore, if our future access to public markets is limited or our performance decreases, we may need to carry out a private placement or public offering of our Class A common stock at a lower price than the price at which investors purchased their shares.

Because our decision to issue debt, preferred or other equity or equity‑linked securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings. Thus, holders of our Class A common stock will bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the market price of our Class A common stock and diluting the value of their shareholdings in us.

We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the rules of NASDAQ, and, as a result, we will qualify for, and intend to rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements.

Crestview GP controls a majority of the voting power of our common stock. As a result, we are a “controlled company” under NASDAQ’s corporate governance listing standards. As a controlled company, we are exempt from the obligation to comply with certain corporate governance requirements, including the requirements:

·

that a majority of our board of directors consist of independent directors, as defined under the rules of NASDAQ;

·

that we have a corporate governance and nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and

·

that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities.

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We do not intend to take advantage of these exemptions once Crestview GP no longer controls a majority of our voting power. These exemptions do not modify the independence requirements for our audit committee.

Provisions in our charter documents could discourage a takeover that shareholders may consider favorable.

Certain provisions in our governing documents could make a merger, tender offer or proxy contest involving us difficult, even if such events would be beneficial to the interests of our shareholders. Among other things, these provisions:

·

permit our board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies and newly created directorships;

·

authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a shareholder rights plan;

·

provide that our board of directors is expressly authorized to amend or repeal any provision of our bylaws;

·

restrict the forum for certain litigation against us to Delaware;

·

establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by shareholders at annual shareholder meetings;

·

provide for a dual‑class common stock structure pursuant to which holders of our Class B common stock will have ten votes per share compared to the one vote per share of our Class A common stock and thereby will have the ability to control the outcome of matters requiring shareholder approval;

·

establish a classified board of directors with three classes of directors and the removal of directors only for cause;

·

require that actions to be taken by our shareholders be taken only at an annual or special meeting of our shareholders, and not by written consent, once Crestview GP owns 50% or less of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock;

·

establish certain limitations on convening special shareholder meetings; and

·

restrict business combinations with interested shareholders.

These provisions may delay or prevent attempts by our shareholders to replace members of our management by making it more difficult for shareholders to replace members of our board of directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. Anti‑takeover provisions could depress the price of our Class A common stock by acting to delay or prevent a change in control of us.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our shareholders, which could limit our shareholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty, any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This choice of forum provision may limit a shareholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees and may discourage these types of lawsuits.

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Risks Relating to the USAA AMCO Acquisition and the Harvest Acquisition

In the third quarter of 2018, the Company entered into the Harvest Purchase Agreement and the Harvest Commitment Letter. Subsequently, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company entered into the USAA Stock Purchase Agreement and the USAA AMCO Credit Facilities Commitment Letter related to the USAA AMCO Acquisition (together with the Harvest Acquisition, the “Acquisitions”, and each an “Acquisition”). See Notes 3 and 10 to the audited consolidated financial statements. Risk factors related to each of the Acquisitions are discussed below.

Risks and uncertainties associated with the Acquisitions may adversely affect our business, financial performance and stock price. 

   

The Acquisitions may involve a number of risks, including those known and unknown, and contingent liabilities. 

   

·

The Acquisitions may impose additional demands on our staff that could strain our operational resources and require expenditure of substantial legal, consulting and/or accounting fees.

·

The Acquisitions require us to spend significant cash to consummate each Acquisition and the Harvest Acquisition requires us to issue additional shares of common stock to consummate the Harvest Acquisition, which will result in additional debt leverage and dilution of ownership.

·

We may spend additional time and money on facilitating either or both Acquisitions that otherwise would be spent on the development and expansion of our existing business.

·

The process of integrating operations of Harvest and/or the USAA Acquired Companies could cause an interruption of, or loss of momentum in, the activities of our business. 

·

The diversion of management's attention and any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with either or both Acquisitions could have an adverse effect on our business.

 

The Acquisitions are subject to closing conditions, including certain conditions that may not be satisfied, and they may not be completed on a timely basis, or at all. Failure to complete either Acquisition could have material and adverse effects on the Company.

   

Harvest Purchase Agreement 

   

On September 21, 2018, the Company entered into the Harvest Purchase Agreement, whereby the Company has agreed to purchase 100% of the equity interests of Harvest. The completion of the Harvest Acquisition is subject to a number of closing conditions, including (1) the receipt of consents representing revenues of at least 80% of a baseline revenue amount, (2) the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the HSR Act, which termination was received on November 6, 2018, (3) the absence of any material adverse effect (as defined in the Harvest Purchase Agreement) on the business of Harvest and its subsidiaries or the business of the Company, (4) the two Harvest principals not having resigned (or given notice of resignation) and each performing his respective duties under certain employment documentation and (5) other customary closing conditions. In addition, either Harvest or we may terminate the Harvest Purchase Agreement if the Harvest Acquisition has not been completed by June 11, 2019.

   

USAA Stock Purchase Agreement 

On November 6, 2018, the Company entered into the USAA Stock Purchase Agreement, whereby the Company agreed to purchase 100% of the outstanding common stock of the USAA Acquired Companies. The completion of the USAA AMCO Acquisition is subject to a number of closing conditions, including (1) the receipt of consents representing revenues of at least 75% of the run rate threshold, (2) the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the HSR Act, which termination was received on December 3, 2018, (3) the absence of any material adverse effect (as defined in the USAA Stock Purchase Agreement) on the business of the USAA Acquired Companies and (4) other customary closing conditions. In addition, either USAA Capital Corporation, parent of the USAA Acquired Companies, or we may terminate the USAA Stock Purchase Agreement if the USAA AMCO Acquisition has not been completed by August 3, 2019.

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If either Acquisition is not completed on a timely basis or at all, our ongoing business may be adversely affected. Additionally, in the event either Acquisition is not completed, the Company will be subject to a number of risks without realizing any of the benefits of having completed either Acquisition, including the following:

 

·

We will be required to pay our costs relating to the Acquisition(s), such as legal, accounting and financial advisory fees;

·

We could be exposed to increased litigation;

·

Time and resources committed by our management to matters relating to the Acquisitions could otherwise have been devoted to pursuing other beneficial opportunities; and

·

The market price of our securities could decline to the extent that the current market price reflects a market assumption that one or both Acquisitions will not be completed, or to the extent that either Acquisition is fundamental to our business strategy.

 

We may not realize the benefits we expect from either Acquisition because of integration difficulties and other challenges. 

   

The success of the Acquisitions will depend in large part on the success of integrating the personnel, operations, strategies, technologies and other components of the businesses following the completion of the Acquisition(s). The Company may fail to realize some or all of the anticipated benefits of the Acquisitions if the integration process takes longer than expected or is more costly than expected. The failure of the Company to meet the challenges involved in successfully integrating the operations of Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies or to otherwise realize any of the anticipated benefits of either Acquisition could impair the operations of the Company. In addition, the Company anticipates that the overall integration of Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies will be a time-consuming and expensive process that, without proper planning and effective and timely implementation, could significantly disrupt the Company’s business. Potential difficulties the combined business may encounter in the integration process include the following: 

 

·

The integration of personnel, operations, strategies, technologies and support services;

·

The disruption of ongoing businesses and distraction of their respective personnel from ongoing business concerns;

·

The retention of the existing clients and the retention or transition of vendors;

·

The retention of key intermediary distribution relationships;

·

The integration of corporate cultures and maintenance of employee morale;

·

The retention of key employees;

·

The creation of uniform standards, controls, procedures, policies and information systems;

·

The reduction of the costs associated with combining operations;

·

The consolidation and rationalization of information technology platforms and administrative infrastructures; and

·

Potential unknown liabilities associated with the Acquisitions.

 

The anticipated benefits and synergies include the elimination of duplicative personnel, realization of efficiencies in consolidating duplicative corporate, business support functions and amortization of purchased intangibles for tax purposes. However, these anticipated benefits and synergies assume a successful integration and are based on projections, which are inherently uncertain, and other assumptions. Even if integration is successful, anticipated benefits and synergies may not be achieved.

   

Uncertainty regarding the completion of the Acquisitions may cause their clients to withdraw assets under management or to decline to place additional assets under management, or may cause their potential clients to delay or defer decisions concerning the Acquisitions. 

   

Withdrawal of clients and loss of AUM resulting from uncertainty concerning the Harvest Acquisition 

   

The Harvest Acquisition will happen only if stated conditions are met, including, among others, the receipt of a baseline level of required consents from the Harvest clients. Many of the conditions are beyond the control of the Company. In addition, both Harvest and the Company have rights to terminate the purchase agreement under various circumstances.

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As a result, there may be uncertainty regarding the completion of the Harvest Acquisition. This uncertainty, along with potential Harvest client uncertainty regarding how the acquisition could affect the services offered by Harvest, may cause their clients to withdraw assets under management or to decline to place additional assets under management, and may cause potential Harvest clients to delay or defer decisions concerning entering into a relationship with Harvest, which could negatively impact revenues and earnings of Harvest.

   

Withdrawal of clients and loss of AUM resulting from uncertainty concerning the USAA AMCO Acquisition   

   

Under the U.S. Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the “1940 Act”, the investment advisory agreements between each mutual fund (a “USAA mutual fund”) in the USAA Mutual Funds Trust, an open-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act, and each ETF (a “USAA ETF”) in the USAA ETF Trust, also an open-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act, on the one hand, and USAA Asset Management Company, on the other hand, will terminate automatically in the event USAA Asset Management Company undergoes a change of control as recognized under the 1940 Act. Consummation of the USAA AMCO Acquisition will constitute such a change of control. The continuation of the investment advisory relationship by each USAA mutual fund and USAA ETF (either, a “USAA fund”) with either the Company or USAA Asset Management Company following the consummation of the USAA AMCO Acquisition requires the approval of both the board of trustees, which was received on January 15, 2019, and the shareholders of the applicable USAA fund. The continuation of the investment advisory relationship may be through the approval of a new investment advisory agreement between the USAA fund and the Company (or, in the alternative, USAA Asset Management Company) or, in the case of the USAA ETFs, the reorganization of the ETF into a successor ETF organized as a new series of Victory Portfolios II, an existing open-end management investment company, to be advised by the Company. If either the board of trustees or shareholders of a USAA fund do not approve such new investment advisory agreement or reorganization, and the parties to the USAA AMCO Acquisition proceed to close the USAA AMCO Acquisition, then the existing investment advisory agreement between such USAA fund and USAA Asset Management Company will terminate automatically and the board of trustees of such USAA fund may take further action as it deems to be in the best interests of such USAA fund. That may include approval of an interim advisory agreement with the Company or USAA Asset Management Company that would go into effect to permit additional time to solicit the required shareholder approval. The termination of any investment advisory agreement relating to a material portion of assets under management or the redemption of a material portion of assets from the USAA Funds would have an adverse impact on USAA Asset Management Company’s results of operations and financial condition as well as any anticipated benefits from the USAA AMCO Acquisition.

   

The increase in indebtedness of the Acquisitions may expose us to material risks. 

   

As of December 31, 2018, we had $280.0 million of outstanding term loans under the Existing Credit Agreement. In connection with the Acquisitions, we expect to incur a substantial amount of additional indebtedness. In connection with the USAA AMCO Acquisition, we have obtained the USAA AMCO Credit Facilities Commitment Letter providing for up to $1.395 billion of new indebtedness to refinance all indebtedness outstanding under the Existing Credit Agreement, finance the Acquisitions and pay related fees and expenses. Our ability to make scheduled payments on or refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which are subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business, legislative, regulatory and other factors beyond our control. Following the closing of the Acquisitions, the Company, including the combined businesses, may be unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness.

   

The incurrence of indebtedness contemplated by the Acquisitions will subject us to financial and operating covenants, which may limit our flexibility in responding to our business needs. If we are not able to maintain compliance with stated financial covenants or if we breach other covenants in any debt agreement, whether related to the Harvest Facility, the USAA AMCO Credit Facilities or otherwise, we could be in default under such debt agreement. Such a default could allow our creditors to accelerate the related indebtedness and may result in the acceleration of any other indebtedness to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies.

   

Our overall leverage and terms of our debt facilities could, among other things:

50


 

·

Make it more difficult to satisfy our obligations under the terms of our indebtedness, including the new debt facility;

·

Limit our ability to refinance our indebtedness on terms acceptable to us or at all;

·

Limit our flexibility to plan for and adjust to changing business and market conditions and increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

·

Require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows to make interest and principal payments on our debt, thereby limiting the availability of our cash flow to fund future acquisitions, working capital, business activities, and other general corporate requirements; and/or

·

Limit our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, to fund growth or for general corporate purposes, even when necessary to maintain adequate liquidity, particularly if any ratings assigned to our debt facilities by rating organizations were revised downward.

   

The pending USAA AMCO Acquisition is expected to accelerate the timing of when we cease to be an emerging growth company, resulting in increased reporting and disclosure requirements.

   

We are an emerging growth company and, for as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to continue to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies but not to “emerging growth companies,” including, but not limited to, not being required to have our independent registered public accounting firm audit our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 and taking advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We will cease to be an emerging growth company upon the earliest of: (i) the end of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of our IPO, (ii) the first fiscal year after our annual gross revenues are $1.07 billion or more, (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities or (iv) the end of any fiscal year in which the market value of our Class A common stock held by non-affiliates is at least $700 million as of the end of the second quarter of that fiscal year. The USAA AMCO Acquisition, if consummated, is expected to accelerate the timing of when we cease to be an emerging growth company to a period shorter than the fifth anniversary of our IPO. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. See “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Capital Structure-We are an “emerging growth company,” and any decision on our part to comply with certain reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.”

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None

Item 2. Properties

The Company leases its principal executive offices, which are located in Brooklyn, OH. In the United States, the Company also leases office space in New York, NY; Birmingham, MI; Boston, MA; Brentwood, TN; Rocky River, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; and San Francisco, CA. Outside the United States, the Company leases office space in Singapore, Hong Kong and London. The Company believes its existing facilities are adequate to meet its current and future business requirements.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

From time to time, the Company may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business. The Company is not currently a party to any material legal proceedings.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable

51


 

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Shares of the Company’s Class A common stock are listed and trade on NASDAQ under the symbol “VCTR”. As of February 28, 2019, there were approximately 14,555,975 shareholders of record of the Company’s Class A common stock and 52,940,026 shareholders of record of the Company’s Class B common stock. These figures do not reflect persons who held shares of Class A common stock in nominee or “street name” accounts through brokers.

Performance Graph

The following graph shows a comparison from February 8, 2018 (the date our Class A common stock commenced trading on NASDAQ) through December 31, 2018 of the cumulative total return of our Class A common stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500 Index) and a peer group comprised of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc., BrightSphere Investment Group plc, Eaton Vance Corp., Legg Mason, Inc. and Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. The graph assumes that $100 was invested at the market close on February 8, 2018 in our Class A common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the peer group and assumes reinvestment of any dividends. The stock price performance of the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

Picture 1

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers.

The following table sets out information regarding purchases of equity securities by the Company for the three months ended December 31, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Number of Shares

 

Approximate Dollar Value

 

 

Total Number of

 

Average Price

 

of Class A Common

 

That May Yet Be Purchased

 

 

Shares of Class A

 

Paid Per Share

 

Stock Purchased as Part of

 

Under Outstanding

 

 

Common Stock

    

of Class A

 

Publicly Announced

    

Plans or Programs

Period

 

Purchased

 

Common Stock

 

Plans or Programs

 

(in millions) (1)

October 1-31, 2018

 

259,693

 

$

8.33

 

259,693

 

$

9.3

November 1-30, 2018

 

101,884

 

 

9.84

 

101,884

 

 

8.3

December 1-31, 2018

 

137,001

 

 

9.76

 

137,001

 

 

7.0

Total

 

498,578

 

$

9.03

 

498,578

 

 

 

52


 

 

(1)

On May 22, 2018, our Board of Directors authorized a $15.0 million share repurchase program which expires on December 31, 2019.  We repurchased 498,578 of Class A common stock under this program through a 10b5-1 trading plan at an average cost of $9.03 during the three months ended December 31, 2018.  As of December 31, 2018, $7.0 million remained available to repurchase shares under this program.  See Note 13 to the audited consolidated financial statements for more information on the share repurchase program. 

 

Dividend Policy

We do not currently pay cash dividends on our common stock. Any future determinations relating to our dividend policies is limited by the terms of our indebtedness and will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, which will depend on conditions then existing, including our financial condition, results of operations, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

On January 1, 2018, the Company granted to its employees options to purchase an aggregate of 357,256 shares of its common stock under its 2013 Plan at an exercise price of $14.27 per share.

On January 1, 2018, the Company granted to its employees an aggregate of 1,678,743 shares of restricted stock under its 2013 Plan.

None of the foregoing transactions involved any underwriters, underwriting discounts or commissions, or any public offering, and the registrant believes that transactions were exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 in reliance on Section 4(2) thereof, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, or Rule 701 thereunder, as transactions by an issuer not involving a public offering or transactions pursuant to compensatory benefit plans and contracts relating to compensation as provided under such Rule 701. The recipients of securities in such transactions represented their intention to acquire the securities for investment only and not with a view to or for sale in connection with any distribution thereof, and appropriate legends were affixed to the share certificates and instruments issued in such transactions. If applicable, the recipients of securities were accredited or sophisticated and either received adequate information about the registrant or had access, through relationships with the registrant, to such information.

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following tables set forth our historical consolidated financial data as of and for the periods indicated. The selected consolidated financial data for the years ended, and as of, December 31, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this report. Our historical operating results are not necessarily indicative of future operating results.

53


 

The following data should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto, as well as the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” included elsewhere in this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 

 

(in thousands, except per share data as noted)

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

GAAP Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment management fees

 

$

352,683

 

$

343,811

 

$

248,482

 

 

201,553

 

Fund administration and distribution fees

 

 

60,729

 

 

65,818

 

 

49,401

 

 

39,210

 

Total revenue

 

 

413,412

 

 

409,629

 

 

297,883

 

 

240,763

 

Income from operations

 

$

114,519

 

$

90,168

 

$

24,485

 

$

33,220

 

Other income (expense)

 

 

(29,608)

 

 

(51,710)

 

 

(33,556)

 

 

(25,998)

 

Income/(loss) before income taxes

 

 

84,911

 

 

38,458

 

 

(9,071)

 

 

7,222

 

Net income/(loss)

 

 

63,704

 

 

25,826

 

 

(6,071)

 

 

3,800

 

Operating margin

 

 

27.7

%  

 

22.0

%  

 

8.2

%  

 

13.8

%

Basic earnings (loss) per share

 

$

0.96

 

$

0.47

 

$

(0.12)

 

$

0.08

 

Diluted earnings (loss) per share

 

$

0.90

 

$

0.43

 

$

(0.12)

 

$

0.08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 

(in thousands)

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

801,511

 

$

792,622

 

$

850,951

 

$

620,389

Total debt(1)

 

 

268,857

 

 

483,225

 

 

418,528

 

 

311,898

Total liabilities

 

 

345,963

 

 

561,439

 

 

519,953

 

 

370,960

Total equity

 

 

455,548

 

 

231,183

 

 

330,998

 

 

249,429


(1)

Balance at December 31, 2018 is shown net of unamortized loan discount and debt issuance costs in the amount of $11.1 million. The gross principal amount of outstanding term loans under the Existing Credit Agreement was $280.0 million.

On July 29, 2016, we acquired RS Investments, an SEC registered investment adviser, and RS Investments’ wholly owned subsidiaries. Our financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016 reflect five months of post‑acquisition RS Investments operations and significant acquisition‑related and restructuring and integration costs related to this transaction.

In the year ended December 31, 2018, we completed our IPO and used the proceeds to refinance the debt. In the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2015, we made special distributions to shareholders and incurred incremental debt to fund these payments. In the year ended December 31, 2016, we incurred incremental debt to partially finance the acquisition of RS Investments. See Note 10 to the audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the “Selected Financial Data” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this report. In addition to historical information, this discussion contains forward‑looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from management’s expectations. Factors that could cause such differences are discussed in the sections entitled “Forward‑Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors.” We are not undertaking any obligation to update any forward‑looking statements or other statements we may make in the following discussion or elsewhere in this document even though these statements may be affected by events or circumstances occurring after the forward‑looking statements or other statements were made. Therefore, no reader of this document should rely on these statements being current as of any time other than the date of this report.

54


 

Overview

Our Business

We are an investment management firm operating a next generation, integrated multi-boutique model with $52.8 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2018. Our differentiated model features a scalable operating platform that provides centralized distribution, marketing and operations infrastructure to our select group of Franchises and Solutions Platform. Our earnings are primarily driven by asset-based fees charged for services related to the investment strategies we deliver and consist of investment management, fund administration and distribution fees.

Our Franchises are operationally integrated, but are separately branded and make investment decisions independently from one another within guidelines established by their respective investment mandates. Our integrated multi-boutique model creates a supportive environment in which our investment professionals, largely unencumbered by administrative and operational responsibilities, can focus on their pursuit of investment excellence. VCM employs all of our U.S. investment professionals across our Franchises, which are not separate legal entities.

Our Solutions Platform consists of multi-Franchise and customized solutions strategies that are primarily rules-based. We offer our Solutions Platform through a variety of vehicles, including separate accounts, mutual funds and VictoryShares which is our ETF brand. Like our Franchises, our Solutions Platform is operationally integrated and supported by our centralized distribution, marketing and operational support functions.

We sell our products through our centralized distribution model with 88 professionals across both our institutional and retail distribution channels and marketing organization. Our institutional sales team focuses on cultivating relationships with institutional consultants, who account for the majority of the institutional market, as well as asset allocators seeking sub-advisers. Our retail sales team offers intermediary and retirement platform clients, including broker-dealers, retirement platforms and RIA networks, mutual funds and ETFs as well as SMAs through wrap fee programs and access to our investment models through UMAs.

We have grown our AUM from $17.9 billion following the management-led buyout with Crestview GP in August 2013 to $52.8 billion at December 31, 2018. We attribute this growth to our success in sourcing acquisitions and evolving them into organic growers, generating strong investment returns, and developing retail and institutional distribution channels with deep penetration.

Agreement to Acquire Harvest Volatility Management and USAA Asset Management

On September 21, 2018, we entered into an agreement to purchase 100% of the equity interests of Harvest Volatility Management (“Harvest”) for (i) $255 million in cash paid at the closing of the transaction ( the “Harvest Closing”) (ii) 1,565,370 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, which equated to $15 million based on a volume-weighted average price per share of $9.5824 at September 21, 2018 to be paid at the Harvest Closing, (iii) $30.75 million in Class B common stock, issued in four equal installments at the end of each of the first four quarters following the Harvest Closing, and (iv) contingent earn-out payments based on the net revenue of the Harvest business in calendar years 2021, 2022 and 2023. Harvest is a leader in derivative asset management, specializing in yield enhancement overlay, risk reduction, alternative beta and absolute return strategies. Harvest offers a suite of value-added investment strategies for client portfolios that are designed to provide investors with risk-managed sources of income, absolute return and varying levels of market exposure. The acquisition will expand our Solutions Platform by adding a historically strong organic grower to our platform and will further diversify our AUM into strategies that are managed to be neutral to changing market cycles.

 

On November 6, 2018, we entered into an agreement to acquire the USAA Acquired Companies and their Mutual Fund and ETF businesses and USAA 529 College Savings Plan for (i) $850 million in cash at the closing of the transaction and (ii) contingent payments based on annual revenue in each of the first four years following the closing. The USAA Acquired Companies have proven expertise in managing fixed income, global multi-asset and equity strategies through both internal investment teams and external subadvisors. The acquisition will diversify our AUM, expand our investment

55


 

capabilities, increase our size and scale and introduce a new and unique direct-member distribution channel to our existing distribution platform.

The Harvest and USAA Acquired Companies acquisitions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and will be financed through a combination of debt, cash on the balance sheet and, in the case of Harvest, Victory equity. We have committed debt financing for both transactions with Barclays and RBC who have agreed to arrange and syndicate a new seven-year senior secured first lien term loan in an aggregate principal amount of up to $1.395 billion and a new five-year senior secured first lien revolving facility in an aggregate principal amount of up to $100 million. See Note 10 to the audited consolidated financial statements for more information on the debt financing. See Note 3 for more details on the Harvest and USAA Acquired Companies acquisitions. See “Risk Factors – Risks Relating to the USAA AMCO Acquisition and the Harvest Acquisition.”

 

Highlights for 2018

2018 business and financial highlights included:

·

Our Franchises and Solutions Platform had strong investment performance. As of December 31, 2018, 23 of our mutual funds and ETFs have overall Morningstar ratings of four or five stars and 65% of our fund AUM was rated four or five stars overall by Morningstar. As of December 31, 2018, 57% of our strategies by AUM had investment returns in excess of their respective benchmarks over a one-year period, 68% over a three-year period, 74% over a five-year period and 88% over a ten-year period. On an equal-weighted basis, 59% of our strategies have outperformed their benchmarks over a one-year period, 59% over a three-year period, 63% over a five-year period and 75% over a ten-year period.

·

The industry recognized us for our achievements. For the fourth consecutive year, Victory has been ranked in the top 10 in their AUM category for Institutional Brand Awareness by eVestment. Victory ranked 6th among managers with $50-$100 billion in 2018, 4th among managers with $50-$100 billion in 2017 and 2016 and 1st among managers with $25-$50 billion in 2015. 

·

Total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $413.4 million compared to $409.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.

·

Net income was $63.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared $25.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.

·

Adjusted EBITDA was $160.2 million or 38.7% for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $149.1 million or 36.4% for the year ended December 31, 2017. See “—Supplemental Non‑GAAP Financial Information” for more information about how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA.

·

Adjusted Net Income was $102.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $62.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. See “—Supplemental Non‑GAAP Financial Information” for more information about how we calculate Adjusted Net Income and a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted Net Income.

·

On February 12, 2018, we issued 11,700,000 shares of Class A common stock in the IPO at a price of $13.00 per share for net proceeds of $143.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts. Net proceeds received from the IPO and the Credit Agreement of $143.0 million and $355.9 million, respectively, were used concurrent with the closing of the IPO, together with $0.8 million of cash on hand, to repay the $499.7 million of outstanding term loans under the 2014 Credit Agreement. On March 13, 2018, the Company issued an additional 1,110,860 shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the underwriters’ exercise of their option for net proceeds of $13.5 million after deducting underwriting discounts. The net proceeds from the

56


 

underwriters’ exercise of their option and operating cash flow were used to pay down $80.0 million of the Existing Credit Agreement in 2018 to bring the balance to $280.0 million at December 31, 2018 resulting in a net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 1.5x.

·

We entered into agreements to purchase Harvest and the USAA Acquired Companies. We expect these acquisitions will diversify our AUM and investment capabilities, increase our size and scale, introduce a new and unique USAA direct-member channel to our existing distribution platform.

Key Performance Indicators

When we review our performance we focus on the indicators described below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 

 

($ in millions)

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

 

AUM at period end

 

$

52,763

 

$

61,771

 

$

54,965

 

Average AUM

 

 

61,390

 

 

57,823

 

 

41,756

 

Gross flows

 

 

14,130

 

 

16,929

 

 

16,037

 

Net flows (excluding Diversified)(1)

 

 

(2,427)

 

 

(853)

 

 

2,266

 

Total revenue

 

 

413.4

 

 

409.6

 

 

297.9

 

Revenue on average AUM

 

 

67

bps  

 

71

bps  

 

71

bps

Net income/(loss)

 

 

63.7

 

 

25.8

 

 

(6.1)

 

Adjusted EBITDA(2)

 

 

160.2

 

 

149.1

 

 

98.1

 

Adjusted EBITDA Margin(3)

 

 

38.7

%  

 

36.4

%  

 

32.9

%

Adjusted Net Income(2)

 

 

102.3

 

 

62.0

 

 

39.0

 

Tax benefit of goodwill and acquired intangibles(4)

 

 

13.3

 

 

19.7

 

 

16.8

 


(1)

Total net flows including Diversified were ($2,427), ($1,471), $875 for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016. See “Business—Our Franchises—Munder Capital Management.”

(2)

Our management uses Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income to measure the operating profitability of the business. These measures eliminate the impact of one‑time acquisition, restructuring and integration costs and demonstrate the ongoing operating earnings metrics of the business. These measures are explained in more detail and reconciled to net income/(loss) calculated in accordance with GAAP in “—Supplemental Non‑GAAP Financial Information.”

(3)

Adjusted EBITDA margin represents Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of total revenue.

(4)

Represents the tax benefits associated with deductions allowed for intangibles and goodwill generated from prior acquisitions in which we received a step‑up in basis for tax purposes. Acquired intangible assets and goodwill may be amortized for tax purposes, generally over a 15‑year period. The tax benefit from amortization on these assets is included to show the full economic benefit of deductions for all acquired intangibles with a step‑up in tax basis. Due to our acquisitive nature, tax deductions allowed on acquired intangible assets and goodwill provide us with a significant supplemental economic benefit. On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”) was enacted. The Tax Act significantly revised the U.S. corporate income tax law by, among other things, decreasing the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. The reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate reduced the tax benefit of goodwill and acquired intangible assets beginning in 2018.

57


 

Assets Under Management

Our profitability is largely affected by the level and composition of our AUM (including asset class and distribution channel) and the effective fee rates on our products. The amount and composition of our AUM are, and will continue to be, influenced by a number of factors, including:

·

investment performance, including fluctuations in the financial markets and the quality of our investment decisions;

·

client flows into and out of our various strategies and investment vehicles;

·

industry trends toward products or strategies that we either do or do not offer;

·

our ability to attract and retain high quality investment, distribution, marketing and management personnel;

·

our decision to close strategies or limit growth of assets in a strategy when we believe it is in the best interest of our clients or conversely to re‑open strategies in part or entirely; and

·

general investor sentiment and confidence.

58


 

Our goal is to establish and maintain a client base that is diversified by Franchise and Solutions, asset class, distribution channel and vehicle. The chart below sets forth our AUM by Franchise and Solutions as of December 31, 2018:

Picture 10

 

The following table presents our AUM by asset class as of the dates indicated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of December 31, 

(in millions)

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016(1)

    

2015(2)

    

2014(3)

U.S. Mid Cap Equity

 

$

20,019

 

$

25,185

 

$

20,083

 

$

12,401

 

$

13,887

U.S. Small Cap Equity

 

 

12,948

 

 

15,308

 

 

14,090

 

 

6,500

 

 

5,882

Fixed Income

 

 

6,836

 

 

7,551

 

 

7,726

 

 

5,058

 

 

5,338

U.S. Large Cap Equity