Claymore Launches Micro-Cap ETF

August 20, 2010

Claymore continues its strategic move to broaden its product line.

Claymore Securities, the Lisle, Ill.-based money management firm known for its niche exchange-traded fund strategies, rolled out a micro-cap ETF today based on an index from Wilshire Associates as part of its aim to offer more broad-based funds. The move amounts to a relaunch of an existing fund, the company said.

The Wilshire Micro-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: WMCR) is the fourth fund Claymore has rolled out using an index from Wilshire. It has an expense ratio of 0.50 percent. The fund had previously existed as the Claymore/Sabrient Stealth ETF (NYSEArca: STH), which sought to replicate an index called the Sabrient Stealth Index.

Claymore, the 13th biggest U.S. ETF firm, made a reputation for itself as a purveyor of niche funds such as the Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: TAN). But earlier this year it began branching into broader funds like the Wilshire 5000 Total Market ETF (NYSEArca: WFVK) to be able to meet all client investment needs.

“Through our exclusive partnership with Wilshire and our ETF suite, investors now have solutions for both the core and satellite portions of their portfolios that combine the most meaningful features and benefits of ETFs," Steven A. Baffico, a senior managing director at Claymore, said in a press release.

Guggenheim’s Influence

The shift in strategic direction came in the wake of Claymore’s acquisition by Guggenheim Partners in October of last year. Claymore officials have said, for example, that the relationship with Wilshire Associates came out of a pre-existing relationship Guggenheim had with the Los Angeles-based index company.

The other two Claymore funds based on Wilshire indexes are the Wilshire 4500 Completion ETF (NYSEArca: WXSP), and the Wilshire US REIT ETF (NYSEArca: WREI).

Claymore said in its press release that it’s the exclusive provider of ETFs using Wilshire indexes.

The change in strategic direction has also involved closing some funds that have not attracted significant assets. Claymore said last week it was closing four funds on Sept. 10.

The funds are:

  • The Claymore/Zacks Dividend Rotation ETF (NYSEArca: IRO). It had gathered $12.5 million, according to information on Claymore’s Web site.
  • The Claymore/Zacks Country Rotation ETF (NYSEArca: CRO). It has about $3 million.
  • The Claymore/Beacon Global Exchanges, Brokers & Asset Managers Index ETF (NYSEArca: EXB). It has $2.8 million.
  • The Claymore/Robb Report Global Luxury Index ETF (NYSEArca: ROB). It had gathered $16.2 million.

“We continue to be committed to developing innovative investment solutions for clients and we want to dedicate our resources to areas of greater investor interest," Baffico said in a separate statement.

Claymore has about $3 billion under management.

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