Waddell & Reed Financial Inc., a holding company with several subsidiaries, is a financial planning and investment-management firm based in Overland Park, Kan. The money manager is one of the oldest mutual-fund complexes in the U.S. Its analysts and portfolio managers blend a macro view with fundamental analysis of individual companies. Waddell funds are sold exclusively by an in-house sales team; the Ivy Funds, which are nearly identical to those in the Waddell & Reed lineup, are sold via third parties.
Barron's magazine named Waddell & Reed among the top mutual fund families in its 2009 annual ranking. Some analysts see the company as an emerging player in the asset-management industry that has an opportunity to further establish itself as a mainstream provider. What's more, the company has a full-service open architecture brokerage platform for advisers, making it competitve with full-service brokers.