AdvisorShares’ SURE Lands With Former Manager

Qubed Capital founder Minyi Chen had managed the first version of the fund up until 2016.

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Reviewed by: Heather Bell
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Edited by: Heather Bell

Last week, the $46 million AdvisorShares Insiders Advantage ETF (SURE) got a new name and a new ticker, but it also has a new portfolio strategist … sort of. 

Until last week, SURE had traded as the AdvisorShares DoubleLine Value Equity ETF (DBLV) and was subadvised by Jeffrey Gundlach’s DoubleLine Capital. Now the fund is managed by AdvisorShares COO Dan Ahrens, while Minyi Chen, founder and CEO of Qubed Capital, serves as its portfolio strategist.  

However, SURE has been around since October 2011, and it’s had a few incarnations. The fund started out as the AdvisorShares TrimTabs Float Shrink ETF (TTFS), with TrimTabs Asset Management managing the fund. TTFS looked to invest in companies that generated free cash flow while reducing their number of tradable shares.  

Chen was a portfolio manager with TrimTabs Asset Management prior to founding Qubed Capital and was one of the managers in charge of TTFS.  

AdvisorShares Founder and CEO Noah Hamman notes that Chen did a great job with TTFS and that when he was managing the portfolio it was a five-star fund.  

A Series of Changes 

However, TrimTabs was removed as the subadvisor of TTFS in June 2016 “for a variety of reasons,” according to Hamman, to be replaced by Wilshire Associates, which ran it with the name “AdvisorShares Wilshire Buyback ETF,” adopting a buyback strategy. DoubleLine Equity replaced Wilshire in October 2018, and the fund was renamed and given a new ticker leading us to the most recent changes. 

Hamman describes the fund’s performance under Wilshire’s management as “challenging” during that time frame, while value continued to struggle during the DoubleLine era. DoubleLine entered the ETF market this year with its own funds.  

“The change most recently is more of a change that's driven by DoubleLine and where they're going to focus,” Hamman said. “We needed to find a new solution, and we've been working with Minyi. We enjoyed our experience with him from the original TrimTabs days. This opportunity came back up. He still does a lot of research in the space, and he knows it really well.” 

Under Chen’s guidance, the fund will again adopt a strategy focused on float shrink and stock buybacks, but with a particular focus on what company insiders are doing with their shares. Hamman emphasizes that the fund will look at companies that are truly shrinking their float, as opposed to buying back shares only to issue stock options.  

 

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected] 

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of etf.com. She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.