Today Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) announced the acquisition of ETF Securities’ U.S. ETF business. The acquiring firm is itself a fairly new incarnation—the asset management unit of the result of the 2017 merger of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC and Standard Life PLC that formed Standard Life Aberdeen PLC.
ASI is the largest active manager in the United Kingdom and the second-largest in Europe, according to its website, with 50 offices throughout the world and clients in 80 countries. The ETF Securities acquisition will give the firm a footprint in the booming U.S. ETF market as well as growing its overall footprint in the country.
“The needs of our clients are evolving, and we need to be able to offer the full range of solutions to our clients. For some, active solutions will be right and, for others, passive and smart-beta options will be the solution,” said the chief executive of the firm’s Americas operations, Chris Demetriou.
“ASI has been offering passive, quant and smart-beta solutions to clients for some years now, managing over $84 billion in assets in these strategies,” he continued. “The expansion of our capabilities into the ETF space shows our commitment to providing the largest range of solutions to our clients in the U.S.”
ETF Securities currently offers eight commodity-focused ETFs in the U.S., with the largest being the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL), with $1.2 billion in assets under management. All together, it has roughly $2.8 billion invested in its ETFs.
However, beyond commodities, ETF Securities also has exemptive relief encompassing equity funds as well: In early 2015, ETFS rolled out four factor-based smart-beta ETFs, all of which closed in late 2016 and early 2017.
In fact, ASI specifically mentions in the press release that it will be growing its smart-beta capabilities through the acquisition, suggesting it intends to launch such strategies in an ETF wrapper in the future.
ETF Securities sold off its European operations to WisdomTree, representing $18 billion in assets under management, with the deal completing earlier this month. The transaction covered ETF Securities’ European commodity, currency and short-and-leveraged business.
Terms of the deal with ASI were not disclosed.
Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]