Parametric parted ways with Pacific Mutual in 2001 and went independent. But the firm remained open to a long-term relationship with the right strategic partner. That partner came along in 2003 in the form of Boston-based asset manager Eaton Vance, a firm with a similar thoughtfulness when it came to advising taxable investors. Eaton Vance took a majority stake in Parametric, bolstering its custom SMA business by providing Parametric with access to advisory platforms, support for product development, and distribution expertise.
Along the way, Parametric began to expand its offerings and its business, attracting interest from more family offices as well as registered investment advisors. In 2007 Parametric invested in and eventually acquired Managed Risk Advisors, a Westport, Connecticut–based firm that specialized in options and other derivatives. This added another dimension to the customization Parametric could offer its clients, and by 2011 the firm had over $41 billion in AUM. But Parametric didn’t stop there. And thanks to another partnership, the firm was about to grow by leaps and bounds.
The Clifton Group, based in Minneapolis, worked largely in the derivative overlay space, helping endowments, foundations, pension plans, health care entities, and other large funds solve their exposure challenges. Whether the goal was to securitize cash holdings, rebalance a portfolio, or reduce funded-status gaps, Clifton had a systematic, quantitative approach similar to Parametric’s. It was a match that made sense. The two joined forces under the Parametric brand name the following year, bringing Clifton’s large institutional client base to Parametric and catapulting the firm’s AUM to close to $92 billion.