[This article was first published in our quarterly magazine for financial planners, ETF Report UK. To read the full issue in PDF format click here]
What do you get when you marry a wealth of iShares experience with entrepreneurial drive? An independent discretionary fund management business built on ETFs.
Having spearheaded BlackRock's iShares' investment research initiative in Europe, Allan Lane decided the time had come to break away and set up shop building an independent exchange traded fund investment business.
But what propels an established executive, who spent four years at iShares and prior to that was part of the Barclays Global Investors team, to up roots and leave?
Perhaps a vision that ETFs were the future and investors from all walks of life would eventually be led to them.
Lane consequently founded Twenty20 Investments alongside Irene Bauer, the firm's chief investment officer, and Mike Kleyn, principal consultant—both ex-BlackRock. Their aim was simple: to launch an independent discretionary fund management firm using ETFs to build portfolios for wealth managers, financial planners and institutional investors.
It is just one of a handful of firms offering this service, and since inception, has grown to assets under management of $37 (£23) million (which includes funds the firm advises on, such as Beauregard Capital).
What has the firm done that has made it successful? In part, being 100 percent ETF focused is what breaks the mould and helps differentiate the firm from its peers.
"Even now a lot of the investment management community in the UK and Europe, are in denial of what lies ahead. In the U.S. ETF take-up is split 50 percent retail and 50 percent institutional. In the UK and Europe it is 10 percent retail and 90 percent institutional.
"One way or another, new money will arrive, albeit via a younger demographic or from an ever -growing audience who will switch out of their active products due to poor performance accompanied by high fees. It is not if this will happen, but when this will happen," Lane says.