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FlexShares enters actively managed ETF space

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FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds, sponsored and managed by Northern Trust, has launched its first actively managed ETF, a cash management fund designed for liquidity-focused investors seeking higher yields.

The RAVI ETF has a variable net asset value and can invest beyond the limits of traditional money market funds.

RAVI provides investors with liquidity via its shorter term holdings and the daily trading feature of an ETF. The fund invests in a global portfolio of investment grade fixed income instruments, such as bonds, debt securities and other debt issued by governments, corporations and banks.

"Investors in cash products face a tradeoff between safety of principal, income and liquidity given today’s ultra-low rate environment," says Shundrawn Thomas (pictured), head of Northern Trust’s exchange traded funds group. "Going forward, investors will have to segment their cash portfolios on this basis and determine what products fit their needs. We believe RAVI can be used to achieve liquidity and relative higher yields, for investors that can accept some degree of variability in their principal."

The new fund invests in what Northern Trust believes are fundamentally sound corporate, sovereign and asset-backed securities, including those that fall beyond the SEC Rule 2a7 restrictions imposed on registered fixed NAV money market funds (Rule 2a7 puts limits on the quality, maturity and diversity of investments in money market funds). Holdings are evaluated with regard to their relative value for credit and market risk before being included in RAVI’s portfolio.

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