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Northern Trust introduces first ETFs to track international market indices

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Northern Trust Global Investments, the asset management arm of Northern Trust, has launched six exchange-traded funds products offering access to a range of European and Asia-Pacific natio

Northern Trust Global Investments, the asset management arm of Northern Trust, has launched six exchange-traded funds products offering access to a range of European and Asia-Pacific national equity indices, marking its entry into the ETF market.

Northern Exchange Traded Shares, or Nets, are designed to support international allocations for US investors through exposure to some of the world’s leading equity indices, via shares traded on NYSE Arca and the American Stock Exchange.

‘We’re excited about entering this rapidly-growing market with a very compelling product line,’ says Peter K. Ewing, head of Northern Trust’s ETF business. ‘Prior to the Nets launch, US investors were unable to gain ETF-based exposure to some of the world’s most widely accepted benchmarks with vast quantities of investment capital tied to their performance. Now, investors in the US can access them here, too.’

The Nets Hang Seng Index Fund (Hong Kong), the Nets Topix Index Fund (Japan) and the Nets CAC40 Index Fund (France) are listed on NYSE Arca, while the Nets FTSE 100 Index Fund (UK), Nets Dax Index Fund (Germany) and Nets S&P/ASX 200 Index Fund (Australia) are listed on the Amex.

The group’s ETF business is managed under Northern Trust Global Investments’ global quantitative management group, which is headed by Michael A. Vardas. Chad Rakvin heads the team of portfolio managers who oversee Nets investment portfolios.

‘This is a breakout initiative for us,’ says Northern Trust president and chief executive Frederick H. Waddell. ‘ETFs have become increasingly popular with investors, and we are confident that Nets will be a great addition to our investment product offerings.’

Northern Trust says it has recently registered various other Nets ETFs that are expected to be launched in the coming weeks and months.

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