Blaylock Beal Van’s SPI Investment Advisory Unit Tapped by Michigan Municipal Retirement System for Long Alpha Plus Strategy

NEW YORK & OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blaylock Beal Van, LLC (“BBV”) announced today that SPI Strategies, LLC
(“SPI”), the firm’s registered investment advisory subsidiary, has been
tapped by the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (“MERS”) of
Michigan to manage up to $300 million in an alternatives strategy
designed to outperform the S&P 500 while minimizing downside risk and
volatility.

SPI’s Long Alpha Plus strategy was developed by Steven Singleton, BBV’s
Executive Vice President and Director of Equities, using the firm’s
ELROI® research analytics platform. ELROI (Electronic Review of
Investments), which Mr. Singleton also developed, allows institutional
clients to identify key factors that impact stock price and portfolio
performance, in turn allowing for the creation and testing of portfolio
strategies. MERS of Michigan, a BBV client for more than six years,
conducted an extensive examination of SPI’s Long Alpha Plus strategy and
was very encouraged with the back-tested results.

“ELROI was way ahead of its time,” said Eric Van Standifer, BBV’s
President and CEO. “While most quality money managers today have come to
appreciate the critical correlation between analytical data and
investment performance, Steven Singleton had the foresight and vision to
appreciate the importance more than a decade ago. MERS of Michigan has
known Steven for years, and we are delighted they have agreed to further
utilize his market knowledge and expertise.”

“We are heavy users of ELROI and know first hand the breadth and depth
of its quantitative capabilities,” said Jeb Burns, MERS of Michigan’s
Chief Investment Officer. “We also have developed a close working
relationship with Blaylock Beal Van and know the quality and integrity
of its people. It’s been a true partnership, and we are excited to seed
the launch of its Long Alpha Plus fund because we believe in the
product.”

ABOUT BLAYLOCK BEAL VAN, LLC

Blaylock Beal Van, LLC (“BBV”) is a full service investment banking
company providing corporate debt and equity underwriting, research,
sales and trading, and municipal finance services to a blue chip client
roster consisting of America’s largest and most innovative corporations,
financial institutions, municipalities, and high net worth clients. With
principal offices in New York City and Oakland, CA, and an office in
Chicago, BBV provides seasoned experience and technologically advanced
capabilities valued by its long-standing clients.

BBV is the nation’s oldest continuously operated African American-owned
investment bank.

ABOUT SPI STRATEGIES, LLC

SPI Strategies, LLC is a quantitative equity manager deploying
“robo-inspired” portfolios for institutional and retail investors.
Through the use of our proprietary platform, ELROI®, we model active and
alternative strategies blending fundamental, technical and quantitative
factors to address the various style/sector/size/directional components
of the domestic US Equity market.

SPI’s President is Eric Standifer. SPI’s Chairman is Carlton Martin. Mr.
Martin, an industry consultant, previously was a Managing Director and
Senior Portfolio Manager at TIAA from 1980 to 2004. Mr. Singleton is
SPI’s Chief Investment Officer.

ABOUT MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF MICHIGAN

MERS of Michigan is a public nonprofit organization serving
municipalities and their employees all across the state. The
organization, which manages more than $9 billion in assets, has 800
members and 100,000 participants.

Contacts

Media:
STARKMAN for Blaylock Beal Van
Eric
Starkman, 212-624-9755
erics@starkmanpr.com