Daily ETF Watch: New Issuer Debuts Funds

August 27, 2014

Absolute Shares Trust launches 10 active absolute-return funds.

The Absolute Shares Trust, the ETF arm of Millington Securities, today is rolling out its first batch of funds. The 10 actively managed ETFs, subadvised by Millington affiliate WBI Investments, reflect what the trust describes as an absolute-return approach that seeks to produce steady returns and keep a lid on volatility.

Each fund can invest in a range of different types of foreign and domestic debt and equity securities to achieve its goal.

According to an NYSE communique, the 10 new ETFs include the following, along with their expense ratios:

  • WBI SMID Tactical Growth Shares (WBIA), 1.00 percent
  • WBI SMID Tactical Value Shares (WBIB), 1.00 percent
  • WBI SMID Tactical Yield Shares (WBIC), 1.00 percent
  • WBI SMID Tactical Select Shares (WBID), 1.00 percent
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Growth Shares (WBIE), 1.00 percent
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Value Shares (WBIF), 1.00 percent
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Yield Shares (WBIG), 1.00 percent
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Select Shares (WBIL), 1.00 percent
  • WBI Tactical Income Shares (WBII), 1.05 percent
  • WBI Tactical High Income Shares (WBIH), 1.08 percent

The funds appear to be the first suite of actively managed ETFs to apply a similar basic investment strategy to different slices of the global markets.

Van Eck Updates Filing
Van Eck Global has updated its 40-APP filing with the SEC that requests exemptive relief that would allow it to follow in Vanguard’s footsteps and launch ETFs as a separate share class of traditional mutual funds.

According to the filing, holders of the mutual fund shares would be able to convert them into ETF shares, and vice versa.

The filing also notes that the exemptive relief requested is very similar to that granted to the Vanguard Group, which now offers a wide array of ETFs that are separate share classes of its passively managed mutual funds.

However, Vanguard’s unique share-class structure is patented, and it is not clear whether Van Eck has circumvented the patent with its own proprietary methodology or if it has licensed the structure from Vanguard.

The original filing made by Van Eck was made in March 2012.

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