Putnam Expands With Med-Tech, Development ETFs

Best known for mutual funds, the issuer launches products into rough seas.

Managing Editor
Reviewed by: Ron Day
Edited by: Ron Day

Putnam Investments’ two new exchange-traded funds, which begin trading Sept. 30, depart from the firm’s growth and value offerings with funds that target medical technology and companies that finance growth of smaller firms. 

The new funds expand Putnam’s ETF offerings to six. The active funds are Putnam’s first transparent offerings, meaning investors can see the holdings of each at any time.  

Putnam launches the funds at a tumultuous time for investors, with the S&P 500 decline this year its worst since the 2008 Great Recession. Still, the company sees strong growth ahead in actively managed ETFs, and in the industries the ETFs will invest in. 

“We’re still in the early innings of the space,” Carlo Forcione, Putman’s head of product and strategy, explained in an interview about active ETFs. The new medical/biology fund will invest in a field expected to generate as much as $10 trillion in economic activity in the next decade,” he said.  

“That theme has the potential to be super exciting,” he said. 

The firm is better known for its 79 mutual funds than its handful of ETFs, which were issued in May 2021. Just under half of the Boston-based firm’s $169 billion in assets are held in its mutual funds as of the end of August, according to Putnam’s website. The four existing ETFs hold about $67 million, based on ETF.com data.

The Putnam BDC Income ETF (PBDC) and the Putnam BioRevolution ETF (SYNB) will trade on the NYSE’s Arca. PBDC will be managed by 20-year Putnam veteran Michael Petro and SYNB by William Rives, who has been with the firm since 2013.  

Putnam also said the fund investing in business development companies will be the first actively managed ETF investing in the financing firms. SYNB will focus on what it calls the “biology revolution,” the intersection of technology and life sciences. 

Another handful of ETFs are coming from Putnam around the beginning of 2023, most with a focus on environmental, social and governance issues, bringing its ETF lineup to 12 products. 


Contact Ron Day at [email protected] 

Ron Day is Managing Editor at etf.com. He joined the company in October 2022 and previously served as editor and deputy managing editor.

Ron covered business and financial news at Bloomberg News for 20 years, working on the breaking news, technology, commodities, headlines and First Word teams. He was previously senior editor at ESG news outlet Karma Impact and filled the same role at Boundless Impact. He also covered a variety of beats at New Jersey daily papers including the Daily Record in Parsippany, the North Jersey Herald & News and the Asbury Park Press. Ron's freelance work has been published in AARP.com, Investopedia.com and BigThink.com.

Ron is an advocate and fan of literacy. He hopes to one day master his Telecaster, rather than the other way around. His wonderful family includes a 10-lb. malti-poo named Emmy.