American Century to Enter Europe with 3 Active ETFs

American Century to Enter Europe with 3 Active ETFs

Europe's ETF market is attracting more attention from U.S. issuers.

Reviewed by: Ron Day
Edited by: Staff

American Century is set to be the latest U.S. asset manager to enter the European ETF market, as it prepares to issue three active funds.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based asset manager has registered its fund platform in Ireland and has filed for three ETFs investing in global, global value smaller companies and emerging market equities.

The move is another reminder of U.S. issuers' growing interest in the European ETF market following Janus Henderson’s acquisition of fixed income specialist Tabula Investment Management and Pacer ETF’s launch in May of three exchange-traded funds.

The three ETFs are to be launched by Avantis Investors, the group’s quantitative investment unit, headed up by the firm’s CIO Eduardo Repetto. In the U.S., Avantis manages 28 ETFs traded with assets of $42.8 billion. They include three equivalent ETFs to those planned for Europe: the $6.03 billion Avantis International Small Cap Value ETF (AVDV), the $5.56 billion Avantis Emerging Markets Equity ETF (AVEM) and the $366.8 million Avantis All Equity Markets ETF (AVGE).

In the U.S., American Century manages $3.04 billion in 18 funds. The group houses roughly $45 billion in assets under management across 46 ETFs, with Avantis Investors accounting for a large majority of the assets at just over $42 billion

American Century's Non-Transparent Active ETFs

American Century launched the first non-transparent active ETFs in the U.S. in 2020 and both failed to gather significant assets. The investments aren't permitted in Europe.

The approach is designed to shield an active manager’s holdings where it thinks it can generate high alpha.

Active ETFs are set to become the next big battleground for ETF issuers in Europe.

In September 2023, Cathie Wood’s ARK acquired thematic ETF issuer Rize ETF in a £5.25m deal to establish itself on the continent while Italian asset manager Eurizon Capital is set to enter the European market with the launch of an active ETF.

Over the past 18 months, the likes of abrdn, AXA Investment Managers, Horizon Kinetics, Robeco and Investlinx have all launched ETFs in Europe for the first time.