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Hub and Spoke Structure


The hub and spoke structure is a financial term commonly used in investment funds wherein a solitary, centralized investment portfolio (the hub) is used by various individual investment vehicles (the spokes) instead of each having their own portfolio. This structure facilitates economies of scale by consolidating management and operational responsibilities. It allows for increased efficiency, potential cost savings, and easier administration.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword ‘Hub and Spoke Structure’ is /hʌb ænd spoʊk ˈstrʌk.tʃər/

Key Takeaways

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  1. The Hub and Spoke Structure is a model of distribution and transportation where a ‘hub’ is used as a central point for the ‘spokes’ , this makes managing distribution simpler and more efficient.
  2. The structure boosts efficiency and saves costs as it allows for direct distribution, reducing the need to maintain large fleets of vehicles or numerous delivery routes.
  3. However, it also carries a risk: If the hub experiences issues or failures, the entire distribution system can be disrupted, making it crucial to ensure reliability and continuity of operations at the hub.

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The Hub and Spoke Structure is an important concept in business and finance due to its efficiency and resource optimization. This model allows for centralized management—the “hub”—which can streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance communication. Simultaneously, the ‘spokes’ represent different departments or divisions that can focus on their specific roles yet still benefit from centralized guidance and resources. This strengthens intra-organizational connectivity and collaboration. Furthermore, the model accommodates scalability, enabling businesses to expand and contract components as necessary without disrupting the entire system, which ultimately fosters flexibility and adaptability—key factors for business sustainability and growth.


The purpose of a hub and spoke structure in finance/business is primarily to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs. This model is widely applied in the mutual fund industry where a single investment portfolio (the “hub”) is leveraged to offer multiple funds or investment products known as “spokes” , each having a different investment goal. By deploying this model, firms can direct the overall strategy at the hub level, enabling them to take advantage of economies of scale and lowering the cost per fund. This structure also allows for a greater range of products to be offered catered to the diverse risk profiles and investment objectives of different clients.Furthermore, the hub and spoke system is beneficial in facilitating regulation and risk management as such a structure consolidates the management of assets into a single hub. This enables fund managers to have better control, visibility, and consistency over the investment strategies across various “spoke” funds. Simultaneously, the structure assists in managing liquidity and mitigating risk as the hub can efficiently reallocate assets between different “spokes”. Through this framework, businesses can enhance their operational efficiency, scalability and diversification of their offerings, and better meet the differing needs and preferences of their clientele.


1. Airline Industry: One of the most common examples of a hub and spoke structure is seen in the airline industry. Major airlines operate by using a central airport (the hub) where passengers and cargo from several locations (the spokes) are gathered, to then be redistributed to their final destinations. For instance, Delta airlines uses the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as one of its major hubs, collecting passengers from different cities and then dispatching them to their final destinations around the globe.2. Supply Chain Management: Businesses, especially those in manufacturing and retail, often use a hub and spoke model in their supply chain operations. Products are sent from various manufacturing sites (the spokes) to a central warehouse or distribution center (the hub), from which they are then dispatched to various retail locations. Walmart, for instance, operates several distribution centers across the U.S. to which goods from various suppliers are delivered, and from where those goods are then distributed to their stores nationwide.3. Financial Services: Investment companies often make use of the hub and spoke structure by creating a central investment portfolio (the hub), and multiple ‘feeder’ funds (the spokes) that all invest in this central portfolio. Each spoke or feeder fund may have different investment objectives, strategies, and risk profiles tailored for specific clients, but they all link back to the same central portfolio. This model enables cost efficiencies and increased diversification. Mutual funds model, like Fidelity Investments’ structure, make use of this hub and spoke architecture.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Hub and Spoke Structure in finance and business?

A hub and spoke structure is a system where different tasks or operations are centralized (the ‘hub’) and they are connected to the various offshoots (or ‘spokes’). This system is mainly used in mutual fund investment practices where a single portfolio (hub) is served by numerous investment vehicles (spokes).

How does the Hub and Spoke Structure work in the investment field?

In investments, the hub and spoke structure works by creating a master-feeder structure. The central portfolio (hub) pools investments and is connected to different sub-funds (spokes) that offer varied investment strategies.

What are the advantages of a Hub and Spoke Structure?

The main advantages of a hub and spoke structure are increased efficiency, lower operating costs, and potential for greater synergies, as they allow pooling of resources and standardized processes.

Are there any drawbacks or risks to the Hub and Spoke Structure?

While the hub and spoke structure comes with benefits, it also carries potential risks. If the hub (central portfolio) performs poorly, all the connected spokes (satellite funds) may be affected. It also requires adequate risk management and strong governance practices.

Can the Hub and Spoke Structure be used in business models other than finance?

Yes, the hub and spoke structure can be applied to various other industries for logistical and operational efficiency, such as transportation, supply chain management, information technology services, and more.

Does the Hub and Spoke Structure model promote diversification?

In a way, yes. Through the hub and spoke structure, investors can achieve diversification by enabling investments in a variety of sub-funds that have different objectives and strategies, all tied to a central portfolio.

How does Hub and Spoke Structure impact operation costs?

The sharing of services, centralization of administrative functions, and consolidation of assets in a Hub and Spoke structure often leads to lower operation costs and greater economies of scale.

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