Goldman Sachs Climate ETF Faces Delisting

GPAL, with $8.6 million in assets, is short on investors, Cboe says.

RonDay
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Managing Editor
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Reviewed by: Lisa Barr
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Edited by: Lisa Barr

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. climate-focused exchange-traded fund faces delisting because the number of investors has fallen beneath the listing requirement’s threshold. 

The Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Paris-Aligned US Large Cap Equity ETF (GPAL) is listed on the Cboe Exchange, which requires that after the first year of trading on the exchange, there must be at least “50 beneficial holders for 30 or more consecutive trading days.” New York-based Goldman must provide Cboe with a plan for how it will boost the number of shareholders and regain compliance, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing

GPAL, with $8.6 million in assets, began trading Dec. 13, 2021, according to etf.com data. It tracks a Goldman climate index whose top holdings are Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. The fund has gained 8% this year, and since the beginning of last year, has pulled in only $1.5 million of new funds. 

Environmental, social and governance funds have been shedding assets this year as a political battle scares off investors: Politicians from conservative states are blocking the investing of state-run pension money into the funds, while those on the left encourage the use of ESG products as a way to ameliorate environmental and social problems. 

More than $5.5 billion departed the funds this year, Bloomberg said last month. 

Still, Goldman will probably find a way keep to GPAL in compliance with Cboe rules and avoid a delisting, Morningstar analyst Byran Armour told etf.com in an email. 

“They can remedy the issue by finding more clients or by closing the fund given its struggles attracting assets,” he wrote. “Exchanges have some discretion over delisting, so it is unclear whether Cboe would forcefully delist GPAL even if the fund failed to attract more holders.” 

Goldman has 34 ETFs trading on U.S. markets, with $27.4 billion in assets under management, according to etf.com data

Funds are rarely delisted because they don’t meet listing standards, according to FactSet Director of Exchange-Traded Fund Research Elisabeth Kashner. 

“Goldman has to decide if it's worth promoting this ETF,” she wrote in an email. 

More may be on the way, said Aniket Ullal, head of ETF data and analytics at CFRA Research. 

“As the ETF market has become more competitive, CFRA expects delistings to stay high,” he wrote in an email. 

The active fund’s managers choose stocks based on “good value, strong momentum, high quality and low volatility,” according to the company’s description

  

Contact Ron Day at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @RonDayETF  

Ron Day is Managing Editor at etf.com. He joined the company in October 2022 and previously served as editor and deputy managing editor.

Ron covered business and financial news at Bloomberg News for 20 years, working on the breaking news, technology, commodities, headlines and First Word teams. He was previously senior editor at ESG news outlet Karma Impact and filled the same role at Boundless Impact. He also covered a variety of beats at New Jersey daily papers including the Daily Record in Parsippany, the North Jersey Herald & News and the Asbury Park Press. Ron's freelance work has been published in AARP.com, Investopedia.com and BigThink.com.

Ron is an advocate and fan of literacy. He hopes to one day master his Telecaster, rather than the other way around. His wonderful family includes a 10-lb. malti-poo named Emmy.