Hancock Plans Indexed Infrastructure ETF

August 31, 2011

Hancock says first index ETF will target global infrastructure.

John Hancock, the Boston-based financial firm that has been agitating to enter the world of ETFs over the past two years, fine-tuned its aim to begin marketing index ETFs by saying its first fund organized around a benchmark would target infrastructure around the world.

The company revealed plans for the John Hancock Global Infrastructure ETF Fund in a recent exemptive relief filing it made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It said in the paperwork that the trust will offer and sell its securities pursuant to a registration statement on Form N-1A filed with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933.

Hancock also has plans for actively managed exchange-traded funds, and recently reaffirmed in a separate exemptive relief filing that the first active ETF it plans to roll out will be the John Hancock Global Balanced Fund.

Hancock is one of many large and reputable financial services firms to begin laying the groundwork at the SEC to enter the world of ETFs. The first U.S.-listed ETF came to market in January 1993, and a total of $1.055 trillion is now invested in U.S. exchange-traded funds, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.

By comparison, mutual fund assets totaled $12 trillion at the end of July, according to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry’s trade group.

Exemptive relief filings grant the ETF firms exception to sections of the Investment Act of 1940 and are just the first step in the path to launching ETFs. It often takes at least six to 12 months from the date of the initial filing for a company’s first ETF to hit the market.




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