'Anti-Woke' Issuer Plans More ETFs

August 30, 2022

ETF newcomer Strive Asset Management, which led the backlash against socially responsible investing with a fund that explicitly opposed environmental, social and governance criteria, is taking a gentler tone as it files to issue more funds.  

The four funds in the latest prospectus cover traditional segments of the U.S. market: growth, value, small caps and dividend-paying equities. 

The firm launched the Strive U.S. Energy ETF (DRLL) on Aug. 9 and quickly accumulated roughly $300 million in assets. The fund offers a fairly vanilla take on the U.S. energy sector, but comes with a promise of advocating for profit-boosting policies with the companies it owns, regardless of their environmental impact or ESG failings.  

An “anti-woke” approach underlies the firm’s thesis, which asserts that companies should look to maximize the return to their shareholder, stating on its homepage that its “mission is to restore the voices of everyday citizens in the American economy by leading companies to focus on excellence over politics.”  

The New Filing 

The latest prospectus the firm filed with the SEC includes four ETFs:  

STXD is set to have an expense ratio of 0.35%, while the others will charge 0.19%.  

STXG and STXV track indexes that use a tiered cap-weighting approach, while STXN’s small cap components are weighted by market capitalization. STXD draws its components from the same index that STXG tracks, but homes in on the securities that exhibit the best dividend growth.  

An appendix to the prospectus details the firm’s proxy voting approach. It notes, “The Firm will generally vote in favor of and advocate for board members and proposals that focus [on] companies exclusively on the pursuit of excellent products and services for customers over all other agendas.”  

The document adds that Strive’s goal is to push companies it invests in to become “mission driven, customer centric, innovative, merit-based, and financially disciplined.”  

 

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected] 

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