Ex-Manager at Waddell & Reed, Others Form Investment Firm

A well-known portfolio manager who recently left mutual-fund company Waddell & Reed Financial WDR -0.67% is starting an investment firm with backing from some Wall Street heavyweights.

Ryan Caldwell plans to launch his first fund in the fourth quarter of 2015 and will specialize in the same multiasset investment approach he employed at Waddell & Reed, buying a mix of stocks, bonds, commodities and other assets.

The former co-manager of Waddell & Reed’s $24 billion Ivy Asset Strategy Fund formed his new firm, Chiron Investment Management LLC, with GPS Investment Partners, a partnership of three ex- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.05% bankers— Marc Spilker, Enrico Gaglioti and Scott Prince.

Mr. Caldwell will run Chiron’s investments as chief investment officer, while the GPS founders will manage Chiron’s business operations.

Mr. Caldwell left Waddell & Reed in June 2014. Investors have pulled $9.4 billion from his old fund, Ivy Asset Strategy, since May 2014, amid a rough patch for the Overland Park, Kan., firm.

Ivy Asset Strategy Fund over the past decade was among the first among mutual funds to adopt a strategy of trading almost any asset as individual investors sought ways to boost yields in their portfolios. The fund delivered average returns of 10% over the past decade—a third best among comparable managers, according to fund-rating firm Morningstar Inc.—but lost 5% in 2014 and eked out a 0.04% return this year so far.

A spokesman for Waddell & Reed declined to comment.

Chiron will make bets similar to those Mr. Caldwell made at Waddell & Reed with co-manager Michael Avery, but Mr. Caldwell said he would use “tighter guardrails” to manage risk.

Mr. Caldwell got to know one of his new partners, Mr. Spilker, in 2011 after Mr. Spilker left Goldman and became president of Apollo Global Management LLC to help the private-equity giant make the transition to being a public company. Waddell & Reed was one of Apollo’s largest outside shareholders when it issued stock, and the two struck up a rapport, they say.

Mr. Spilker left Apollo in 2014 and founded GPS earlier this year, with two close friends from Goldman, Mr. Gaglioti, the former global head of equity sales at the investment bank, and Mr. Prince, a former partner at Goldman and hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management. GPS invests the founding partners’ money in public securities, private investments and new businesses.

Mr. Caldwell approached Mr. Spilker for advice on how to build his own enterprise and the conversation ultimately led to a partnership with GPS, they said.

Mr. Gaglioti will be Chiron’s chief executive officer and Messrs. Spilker and Prince will serve as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Mr. Caldwell has hired Waddell & Reed’s former head of national accounts, Kirsten Pickens, to manage distribution of the funds he launches starting later this year.

Wall Street Journal