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Grail Advisors to launch actively-managed exchange traded equity funds


San Francisco-based exchange traded fund provider Grail Advisors has filed a registration statement for two new actively managed funds, the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF and

San Francisco-based exchange traded fund provider Grail Advisors has filed a registration statement for two new actively managed funds, the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF and the Grail American Beacon International Equity ETF.

The firm claims they are the first equity ETFs to use traditional active management.
Both funds will be sub-advised by American Beacon Advisors of Fort Worth, Texas.

American Beacon, which oversaw more than USD37bn in equity and fixed-income assets at the end of last year, expects to manage the new Grail Advisor offerings in substantially similar fashion to the American Beacon Large Cap Value and American Beacon International Equity strategies.
‘These funds are an enormous leap forward in the evolution of ETFs,’ says Grail Advisors chief executive William M Thomas. ‘We’ve captured a unique opportunity to deliver real active portfolio management in an ETF structure that provides more transparency than traditional mutual funds. Grail Advisors wants to set itself apart by offering actively-managed products driven by fundamental analysis, as opposed to simple index or enhanced index ETFs.”
Grail Advisors will serve as the funds’ manager and intends to operate both of the new funds as actively managed multi-manager ETFs. The funds, similar to traditional mutual funds but unlike other active equity ETFs in the marketplace, will allow portfolio managers unrestricted trading.

American Beacon Advisors will be responsible for allocating day-to-day portfolio management decisions for each ETF among one or more investment managers.
‘We’re delighted to be out in front of the investment industry with Grail Advisors,’ says American Beacon’s chairman William F Quinn. ‘These new funds are the first to combine the kind of fundamental, active management we perform at American Beacon with ETFs, an investment vehicle that provides many benefits to marketplace participants today.’
The two funds will represent the first of what are anticipated to be a series of offerings of the Grail Advisors ETF Trust.

The firm intends to make the benefits of ETFs available to the large pool of investors who currently select traditional mutual funds or other vehicles to access active portfolio management.

Thomas says Grail Advisors is currently in discussions with a number of leading financial institutions and asset managers and expects to launch a number of customised, actively-managed ETFs this year. 

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