WisdomTree To Close Ten ETFs

By
Matt Hougan
January 29, 2010
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WisdomTree Investments announced today that it will close 10 of its 52 exchange-traded funds, as it joins a host of ETF issuers looking to streamline their product lineups.

The ETFs account for just 3 percent of WisdomTree’s $6 billion in assets under management. They are:

Name Ticker
WisdomTree International Technology Sector Fund DBT
WisdomTree International Financial Sector Fund DRF
WisdomTree International Health Care Sector Fund DBR
WisdomTree International Consumer Staples Sector Fund DPN
WisdomTree International Consumer Discretionary Sector Fund DPC
WisdomTree International Industrial Sector Fund DDI
WisdomTree International Communications Sector Fund DGG
WisdomTree Europe Total Dividend Fund DEB
WisdomTree Earnings Top 100 Fund EEZ
WisdomTree U.S. Short Term Government Income Fund USY

The last day of trading for the funds will be March 24. Shareholders of record on that day will have the funds redeemed for cash at net asset value, minus a small amount of closing costs.

“WisdomTree is very much a growth company, always innovating and looking to do many things,” said Bruce Lavine, president and COO of WisdomTree. “It is important for us to create capacity inside the firm to execute on those innovative, exciting ideas. We took a hard look at some of the funds that had been out there for a while, talked to shareholders, and decided it was in the best interests of shareholders to move onto other areas of greater interest to customers.”

The company said that some of the funds being closed were nearly redundant with other offerings in the WisdomTree lineup, while others faced established or growing competition.

“We looked at where we were differentiated,” said Luciano Siracusano, head of sales for WisdomTree. “In international sector funds, for instance, we were originally first to market. But we’re not the only ones on the market today. We decided to focus on our areas of strength and on the areas where we are most differentiated, while closing funds with lower volume and lower assets.”

WisdomTree is keeping its most popular international sector funds alive, including its REIT and basic materials funds.

The closings did not cover all of WisdomTree’s smallest funds. For instance, the WisdomTree Dreyfus South African Rand ETF (NYSEArca: SZR) has just $11 million in assets. But WisdomTree said that it is committed to those funds—and to its broader product lineup—and sees no additional closures in the future.

“We are committed to the entire product lineup for the foreseeable future,” said Lavine, of the currency funds. “We think we’re very early in the currency category, for instance. The important thing is that, in something like the
Rand fund, we’re differentiated; we have the only fund on the market. We think that’s important to maintain. [Competitive differentiation] was certainly part of the logic of which funds to close.”

ETF fund closings have become commonplace over the past few years. More than 100 closures took place over the last two years. Many experts expect record ETF fund closures, as there remain an extraordinary number of ETFs with very low assets. As of Dec. 31, 154 ETFs had less than $10 million in assets.

 

Annual ETF/ETN Closures

 

ETF DAILY DATA

Investors plowed money into currency-hedged equity funds like ‘HEDJ’ and ‘DBEF’ on Wednesday, March 4, while yanking assets out of sundry bond funds, such as ‘HYG.’ Total U.S.-listed ETF assets dropped to $2.084 trillion as a market pullback offset net inflows.

Sizable outflows from various iShares bond funds paced that firm’s outflows on Wednesday, March 4. Total U.S.-listed ETF assets ended the day at $2.084 trillion.

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