July/August 2019 ETF Filing Roundup

August 09, 2019

The last six weeks have been an interesting time for filings. Most notably, newcomer Pacific Global Trust has filed for three funds, while First Trust filed for a raft of ETFs, as has Innovator ETFs. It should be noted that the roster of Innovator ETF filings includes one for an unprecedented product.

Firms With Multiple Filings

Innovator has been working to expand its lineup of ETFs, with filings for fixed income products and more defined outcome funds. The Innovator PTAM MBS ETF will be actively managed and invest in prime, subprime and Alt-A mortgage-backed securities, while the Innovator PTAM Core Bond ETF, also actively managed, will invest in a wide range of investment-grade and high-yield U.S. debt securities.

The firm has also made filings that will grow its lineup of defined outcome ETFs. Four will hold FLEX options tied to price return versions of popular indexes. They will each protect against 15% losses, with caps on how much they can participate in upside performance:

A fifth defined outcome filing from Innovator is for the Innovator S&P 500 Total Buffer ETF – Oct 2022. This fund will limit upside performance, but at the same time will protect against all downside losses, meaning investors will be able to participate in upside performance to a limited degree, but they will not see any erosion to their initial investment beyond the fees associated with the ETF.

First Trust is looking to launch a wide variety of funds. It recently filed for three actively managed ETFs covering the large, mid and small cap segments that will each target four factors: value, momentum, quality and low volatility.

It has also filed for defined outcome ETFs along the lines of the products launched by Innovator. The “Buffer” funds will protect against losses of up to 10%, while the “Deep Buffer” ETFs will protect against losses between 5% and 30%.

Like the similar Innovator funds, they will track a portfolio of flexible exchange (FLEX) options, except that instead of being tied to the S&P 500 Price Index, they will be tied to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY). They will also allow investors to participate in upside performance, but with caps on the maximum returns they can expect. The proposed ETFs are:

Finally, new issuer Pacific Global has filed for three very different actively managed ETFs for its initial products. The Pacific Global International Equity Income ETF will invest in companies from developed markets that have higher dividend yields than their peers, while the Pacific Global Focused High Yield ETF will invest in junk bonds. The Pacific Global Senior Loan ETF will primarily invest in senior floating rate debt issued in U.S. dollars by domestic and foreign entities.

Single Filings

There were several one-off filings by existing firms, including plans for the GraniteShares XOUT U.S. Large Cap ETF (XOUT), which will track a multifactor index that scores large cap U.S. companies based on seven individual factors.

Inspire, the issuer of biblically responsible ETFs, also filed for the Inspire International ESG ETF that will apply additional socially responsible criteria to the issuer’s biblically based screens and use a selection universe that combines the MSCI EAFE Index and MSCI Emerging Markets Large Cap Index.

Global X has filed for a competitor to the well-known ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK), with plans for the Global X Cybersecurity ETF. And Pacer is looking to add the Pacer Trendpilot U.S. Bond ETF to its offering of similar funds. The proposed ETF will switch between different exposures to the U.S. high-yield and Treasury bond markets based on market signals.

Strategy Shares plans to launch the actively managed Day Hagan/Ned Davis Research Smart Sector ETF (SSUS), a sector ETF-of-ETFs that will rely on models from Ned Davis Research. Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton has filed for the Franklin Liberty Systematic Style Premia ETF, which will use top-down and bottom-up approaches to capture the performance of various factors; like the Strategy Shares fund, it will be actively managed.

Finally, Exchange Traded Concepts is planning to launch its own uranium miners ETF. The North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF (URNM) will invest in companies that engage in the exploration, mining and production of uranium, as well as those that hold uranium-related assets.

Aside from the filings for brand new ETFs, J.P. Morgan will be recasting its JPMorgan Disciplined High Yield ETF (JPHY) as the JPMorgan High Yield Research Enhanced ETF, and as part of its new strategy, the fund will invest in high-yield debt securities denominated in U.S. dollars based on the firm’s in-house research.

The new approach is very similar to JPHY’s original objective, but the fund’s portfolio had previously relied on a quantitative multifactor model. It is not clear when the shift in the fund’s investment approach will become effective.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

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