ETF Watch: Exemptive Relief Summer Roundup

Several firms have requested exemptive relief from the SEC to launch ETFs or different types of ETFs than they have previously.
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

As we enter the last weeks of summer, it can’t be ignored that several firms have filed new exemptive relief requests with the SEC relating to ETFs. It looks like some longtime ETF issuers will be heading in some new directions, while other firms are looking to break into the space for the first time. Below is a selection of 40-APP filings from the past few months:

  • BlackRock’s iShares unit has requested permission to launch fund-of-funds ETFs that will be passively managed via in-house indexes and that can invest in domestic and foreign fixed-income and equity securities.
  • KraneShares, meanwhile, has applied for permission to roll out actively managed ETFs and funds-of-actively managed-funds ETFs. The initial ETF in the series is expected to be the KraneShares China Volatility ETF, which, according to the prospectus, will look to outperform the Hang Seng Volatility Index by investing in swaps and fixed-income securities.  
  • TrimTabs Asset Management, which recently saw Wilshire take over the fund it had been managing for AdvisorShares, filed for its own exemptive relief back in June, and has since filed for what looks like a clone of the float-shrink ETF it had been managing. The request encompassed actively managed ETFs and fund-of-funds ETFs.
  • Fidelity’s Covington Trust has filed a permission request for ETFs that would track in-house indexes and that covers long/short funds, 130/30 funds and fixed-income and equity funds.
  • O’Shares has also filed another exemptive relief request outlining plans to launch long/short and 130/30 funds, as well as self-indexed ETFs.
  • Similarly, newcomer Titan ETF filed back in April for permission to launch self-indexed, 130/30, long/short, fixed-income and equity ETFs. The funds would track indexes provided by SPADE Indexes. The initial list of funds includes the Titan Core U.S. ETF, the fund-of-funds Titan Core Multi-Asset ETF and the socially responsible Titan Impact ETF.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]. is the single source for ETF intelligence. We provide real-time ETF news and analysis to educate investors and drive financial knowledge in the space. Our personalized and accurate information, alongside industry-leading financial tools, are depended upon to develop winning investment and financial decisions. At, we strive to serve both the individual investor as well as the professional financial advisor to educate and grow the ETF community.