Daily ETF Watch: Activist Guru Fund Debuts

Daily ETF Watch: Activist Guru Fund Debuts

Latest addition to Global X’s lineup of Guru ETFs targets holdings of leading activist investors.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Global X today is rolling out another addition to its family of Guru ETFs, all of which mimic the investment decisions of top investors. The newest fund targets activist investors who invest in companies on a large scale in order to influence management decisions.


The Global X Guru Activist Index ETF (ACTX) tracks an equal-weighted index of 50 stocks that represent the top holdings of its selection pool of activist investors, drawing the stocks from the investors’ Form 13F and Schedule 13D SEC filings.


ACTX comes with an expense ratio of 0.75 percent, or $75 for each $10,000 invested, and it joins a lineup of three other funds:



The three funds have a similar focus and methodology in that they draw their holdings from the filings of other investors; however, GURU, GURI and GURX all target securities purchased by hedge funds rather than activist investors. All come with an expense ratio of 0.75 percent. Although GURX and GURI only have a few million in assets under management apiece, GURU has accumulated $306 million.


Recon Capital Launches FTSE 100 ETF
Recon Capital, which launched an ETF tracking Germany’s DAX last October, today is launching a fund that will target Britain’s blue-chip index, the FTSE 100.


The Recon Capital FTSE 100 ETF (UK) is not the first U.S.-listed ETF to track the United Kingdom’s best-known index. Back in 2008, Northern Trust rolled out the ill-fated NETS family of ETFs, which mainly tracked the local-market indexes of individual countries. However, the NETS didn’t last long or gather much in the way of assets; Northern Trust shut down all 17 of its funds in February 2009, less than a year after their launch.


While the Northern Trust rollout of its NETS family was a rapid-fire blitz, Recon Capital has proceeded more slowly, rolling out just the Recon Capital DAX ETF (DAX | F-96) last year and the U.K. this year, with no additional filings in the hopper.


UK comes with an expense ratio of 0.45 percent, three basis points cheaper than the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU | B-92). That, combined with the appeal some investors may find in being able to invest as a U.K.-based investor would, could be what helps the Recon Capital fund to find some staying power.


It should be noted that Northern Trust came roaring back a few years later with the launch of the FlexShares family of ETFs. Although it didn’t roll out funds en masse this time around, the more strategically launched FlexShares have gathered significant assets and do not appear to be in any danger of shutting down. 



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.