New ETF Brands

February 26, 2016

Hull Tactical Asset Allocation launched its actively managed Hull Tactical U.S. ETF (HTUS | F) through issuer Exchange Traded Concepts. HTUS relies on Hull's proprietary, quantitative model to achieve its goal of long-term capital appreciation. The fund can take long and short positions in S&P 500 ETFs as well as investing in inverse and leveraged S&P 500 ETFs and the U.S. Treasurys market. The Chicago-based firm was founded by Blair Hull in 2013.

Innovator Management is partially owned by CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, and its ETF is issued by Academy Funds. The actively managed Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY | C-30) is the firm's only ETF so far. FFTY's strategy is to reweight the components of the price-weighted IBD 50 Index, a growth-focused domestic index calculated by Investor's Business Daily, according to a proprietary method that relies on fundamental and technical indicators.

Financial services giant John Hancock Investments is just one of the traditionally active mutual fund shops that have entered the ETF arena recently. The firm not only partnered with Dimensional Fund Advisors, which designed the underlying indexes for and serves as advisor to its ETFs, but it launched the first multifactor sector ETFs. The funds' multifactor methodology targets size, value and profitability factors.

Lattice Strategies' four index-based ETFs are constructed under the principles of the firm's "risk-first" approach, which is based on the idea that the allocation of risks is the primary driver of long-term capital growth. In addition to its own indexes and ETFs, Lattice also offers multiasset solutions. As of the end of 2015, $1.5 billion in institutional and retail assets was tied to Lattice's investment strategies. The firm was founded in 2007.

Legg Mason was one of the large, traditionally active mutual fund shops that dove into ETFs last year, rolling out its family of four index-based smart-beta funds right before the end of 2015. The ETFs track indexes developed by Legg Mason subsidiary QS Investors. Founded in 1899, Baltimore-headquartered Legg Mason has a total of $651.5 billion in assets under management and ranks as the 21st-largest asset manager in the world.

Lenexa, Kansas-based Loncar Investments was founded by Brad Loncar, the firm's principal owner and a full-time investor who manages a family fund with a heavy focus on biotech stocks. The brand's sole ETF, the Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR), tracks an equal-weighted index of roughly 30 companies that are producing or are in clinical trials for cancer immunotherapy drugs. CNCR is the first fund to focus on this very specific slice of the health care sector.

Master Shares currently has just one ETF trading, the Master Income ETF (HIPS), which tracks the TFMS HIPS 300 Index. The fund only invests in "pass through" securities such as mortgage and equity real estate investment trusts, business development companies, closed-end funds and master limited partnerships. Pass-through securities are labeled as such because they pass most of their income on to their shareholders.

MomentumShares and its sister brand ValueShares are both issued by investment firm Alpha Architect. Founded by Wesley Gray, Ph.D., the firm is an active manager that bases its strategies on behavioral finance. The two listed MomentumShares cover the U.S. and non-U.S. companies and use a systematic investment process to build a portfolio of approximately 50 stocks with the "highest quality momentum."

O'Shares Funds is a division of O'Leary Investments. Founder Kevin O'Leary is perhaps best known to U.S. audiences as one of the stars of the NBC show "Shark Tank." The five ETFs launched under the O'Shares name all track FTSE indexes that target the high-quality, low-volatility and high-dividend yield factors. The family includes funds covering the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Europe, as well as funds offering currency-hedged exposure to the latter two regions.

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