ETF Watch: Transamerica Plans Funds

Insurance and investment juggernaut outlines its ETF market entry.
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

A recent filing from Transamerica, one of America’s largest insurance and investment holding companies, details the firm’s plans for launching five multi-asset ETFs. Each of the DeltaShares ETFs will allocate its assets among an S&P equity index, the S&P U.S. Treasury Bond Current 5-Year Index and the  S&P U.S. Treasury Bill 0-3 Month Index based on volatility levels.

The five proposed funds include the following:

  • DeltaShares S&P 500 Managed Risk ETF
  • DeltaShares S&P MidCap 400 Managed Risk ETF
  • DeltaShares S&P SmallCap 600 Managed Risk ETF
  • DeltaShares S&P International Managed Risk ETF
  • DeltaShares S&P Emerging Markets Managed Risk ETF

The first three funds’ equity allocations are tied to popular domestic equity indexes, while the international and emerging market ETFs’ equity portions will track the S&P EPAC Ex-Korea LargeMidCap Index and S&P Emerging Plus LargeMidcap Index, respectively.

Each fund’s benchmark index has a designated volatility level, and when that level is exceeded, the benchmark index allocates more weight from its component equity index to either or both of its fixed-income subindexes. The split between the two fixed-income indexes is determined by the yield spread between them. Each of the component indexes can be weighted at as little as 0% and as much as 100%, if necessary. When the main benchmark index’s volatility is low, more weight is allocated to the equity index.

Each fund’s underlying index rebalances on a daily basis.

The filing did not include expense ratios, tickers or a listing exchange.

Last US-Listed RBC Product Closed
Monday was the last day of trading for Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) only U.S.-listed ETN. The RBC S&P 500 Trend Allocator Index ETN (TALL) launched less than a year ago—June 28—and failed to gather meaningful assets.

The product used the S&P 500 Index’s 200-day moving average as a risk-on/risk-off toggle to signal whether it should maintain its exposure to the S&P 500 or switch into cash.

The strategy is similar to the Trendpilot strategies used by some of Pacer Financial’s ETFs, but it came with a heftier expense ratio—0.85%. That may have held it back; although none offer an S&P 500 strategy, the Pacer Financial Trendpilot ETFs all have expense ratios of 0.66% or lower.

The ETN’s shutdown brings the total of realized and scheduled ETF closures for the month of March to 17, matching the prior year’s level. Last year was a record year for fund closures, and 2017 has been off to a slow start by comparison—March’s results suggest that could be changing. 

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.