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Forum Investment Advisors launches series trust for actively managed ETFs


Forum Investment Advisors (FIA) has launched Forum ETF Trust, a series trust designed for independent investment advisers to launch and operate adviser-branded actively managed exchange-traded fund.

Forum ETF Trust offers all the benefits of a traditional shared trust, but it will use an investment manager–investment adviser structure rather than the typical adviser–sub adviser structure. While FIA will serve as investment manager to the trust and has responsibility for certain compliance and oversight functions, the trust’s advisers have sole responsibility for investment decisions.
The SEC recently issued the trust an order enabling investment advisers to launch private label actively managed ETFs. FIA and the trust are affiliates of Atlantic Fund Services, a fund services outsource provider. Atlantic provides regulatory, compliance and corporate governance expertise to the trust as well as the operational efficiencies of an advanced ETF processing platform.
“The manager-adviser structure allows each adviser to contract directly with Forum ETF Trust and to manage portfolios under its own brand,” says Stacey Hong, president of Atlantic. “Combined with the efficiencies of a shared ETF vehicle, this is an optimum, cost-effective, turn-key solution for independent advisers seeking to bring actively managed ETFs to market.”
Forum ETF Trust is structured to include actively managed ETFs managed by various investment advisers. Merk Investments, the Palo Alto, California based pioneer in the currency asset class is the first investment adviser to tap into Forum’s innovative ETF structure.
“Atlantic has been a tremendous partner in managing the ETF registration, listing and operational processes for us. Given the complexity and cost of launching an ETF, working with a trusted provider on a shared trust is the ideal solution for bringing the fund to market,” says Axel Merk (pictured), president of Merk Investments. “Our confidence in Atlantic’s capabilities is buttressed by our experience with their administration of our currency funds, including the mutual fund version of the Merk Hard Currency Fund (MERKX).”
Forum ETF Trust is part of the Forum Family of Funds, a private label turn-key mutual fund platform with over USD6bn in assets under administration.
“We are pleased to expand our capabilities and product offering to include ETFs,” says Hong. “And believe that our unique offering is a direct result of the coordinated efforts between Atlantic and Merk Investments.”

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