ETF Watch: Fund Targeting Brand Value Planned

March 20, 2017

A new filing outlines plans for an ETF that will be advised by CSAT Investment Advisory doing business as ACSI Funds and that will target companies that have been determined to be undervalued based on an analysis of their brand. The Brand Value ETF (BVAL) is a follow-up to the American Customer Satisfaction Core Alpha ETF (ACSI), which was launched in November 2016 and currently has $17 million in assets under management.

BVAL’s underlying index, the BrandTransact 50 Index, covers 50 U.S.-listed companies that have been identified through a proprietary analysis as being undervalued relative to their brand and assigns them a BrandPower score. The BrandPower score is based on consumers’ awareness and opinions of the brand in question based on annual polls that query roughly 10,000 consumers, investors and businesses in the U.S.

The index selects its components from the Wilshire 5000 Index; to be eligible for inclusion, the stocks must have had their brands scored annually by consulting firm Tenet Partners as of June 30 for the two preceding years.

The index selects the companies with the largest BrandPower-to-market capitalization ratios. Because of the nature of the methodology, components tend to be large-cap stocks, with a concentration in the consumer discretionary sector, the prospectus noted.

The filing did not include an expense ratio, ticker or listing exchange.

AdvisorShares Will Not Close DIVI
A press release sent out on Thursday walks back AdvisorShares' March 13 declaration that it would be closing the AdvisorShares Athena High Dividend ETF (DIVI) later this month. The fund's last day of trading was set to be March 24. The fund has less than $9 million in assets under management after launching in August 2014. However, AdvisorShares' board of trustees voted to rescind its liquidiation plan and allow the fund to continue operating. 

No reasons were given for the firm's change of heart. However, DIVI is actively managed, and many feel that active management is gaining favor with investors in the current market environment. Also, dividend ETFs seem to have picked up in the wake of the Fed's rate hike.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].


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