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Hector McNeil, HANetf

McNeil celebrates record assets in white label platform

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Europe’s first white label ETF platform HANetf has enjoyed 600 per cent AUM growth over the last six months, with net creations across the entire range of products, and assets growing to over USD500 million, according to Hector McNeil (pictured), co-CEO, who founded the firm with Nik Bienkowski in 2017 and issued their first ETF at the end of 2018.

“In Europe, we have beaten a number of the competition, traditional long-established global players, in terms of ETF assets raised,” McNeil says.

“It’s because we know what we are doing – it’s as simple as that. HANetf is our fourth ETF firm launch so we have a unique insight into what’s needed and we back our ventures with our own capital.”

ETF issuers looking to launch in Europe might have to wait two to three years to set a firm up organically, McNeil says. “And then it will be another three to five years to figure out what you should have done in the first place. Nobody will model the latter.”

McNeil and Bienkowski have launched over 530 ETPs in Europe, Australasia and North America since they have been in the ETF industry, roughly 5 per cent of the world’s total, McNeil says. “So, there isn’t much we haven’t done and essentially we are renting out that expertise.”

The long term plan for the business is for it to become the first multi-manager ETF platform with 150-200 ETFs across 25/30 market leading, experienced asset managers. 

“We should have a very experienced partner for each of our products bringing expertise and knowledge to the products that will do well for investors, this should be a major differentiator as we are up against ‘Jack of all trades’, wholesale ETF firms. The equivalent of out of town, warehouse supermarkets.” McNeil says.

Themes and firsts that the company has covered in its listings include gold, Kuwait, emerging markets internet and e-commerce, medical marijuana, cloud technology and central counterparty cleared Bitcoin/Crypto.

The first ETF launched on the HANetf platform was EMQQ – The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce UCITS ETF – which has raised more than USD100 million in assets, with a 47 per cent return over the last 12 months. 

The largest fund on the HANetf platform, The Royal Mint Physical Gold ETC (RMAU), has seen huge growth as investors flock to physical gold as a ‘safe haven’ in the face of Covid-19 market uncertainty.  RMAU was launched in February 2020 and, McNeil explains, is unique in that gold is custodied outside of the London banking and clearing system in the vaults of The Royal Mint in Wales, with the Mint providing physical delivery of gold in the form of bars or bullion coins if clients want physical ownership. RMAU is also the only Gold ETF globally which is 100 per cent backed by the LBMA responsibly sourced program.

Next on the books is The Alerian Midstream Energy Dividend UCITS ETF, launching on the London Stock Exchange this week, in partnership with Alerian, specialists and market leaders in North American energy infrastructure indexing and research.

HANetf currently has six asset management clients and eight ETFs/ETCs and says it is in discussion with over 50 other managers about entering the European UCITS ETP space. 

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