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Jason Kennard, Rize

Rize hits USD100 million in assets


Less than a year since its first fund launches, and in a year unlike any other, new ETF issuer Rize ETF has seen its assets reach USD100 million in a range of thematic ETFs that have reflected the extraordinary times.

Co-founders Jason Kennard (pictured), Rahul Bhushan, Stuart Forbes and Anthony Martin brought their 35 years of combined ETF experience with them from the Canvas platform at ETF Securities.

Kennard says: “To hit this milestone is incredible, particularly with the Covid year and the disruption and lack of face-to-face meetings.”

The firm launched its first two products in February 2020, just a month before the global pandemic drove everyone back to work from their homes. “It was a challenge, but Rize is good on the digital marketing front so we adapted quickly to that new environment,” Kennard says. “We turned the dial up on webinars and social media.”

The first two products were the Rize Cybersecurity and Data Privacy UCITS ETF (CYBR), which now has over USD60 million in assets, and the Rize Medical Cannabis and Life Sciences UCITS ETF (FLWR).

“Cyber security and data privacy has been a key theme for people working from home as it opens up new vulnerabilities on their systems,” Kennard says. 

The increasing decriminalisation of cannabis and the rise of its use in a medical context, particularly in the US with a Biden win, has increased the acceptability of the drug, Kennard says.

September saw the firm launch two more thematic ETFs, the Rize Sustainable Future of Food UCITS ETF (FOOD) and the Rize Education Tech and Digital Learning UCITS ETF (LERN), respectively the only ETFs in Europe to offer access to these global megatrends, Kennard says.

The educational technology ETF has proved very timely with schools closed again in many countries and their pupils working from home, using on-line resources. 

The Rize ETFs are registered for sale in 11 countries across Europe and listed on the SIX Exchange, London Stock Exchange, the Deutsche Borse and the Borsa Italiana. Assets are coming in largely from wealth managers, some discretionary managers and retail investors from across Europe.

“Thematic ETFs resonate well as everyone can see that the technology themes in particular are in our daily lives as we work from home and the sustainability and ESG trends are very important.”

Future plans include getting the funds to critical mass, over that magic USD50 million mark where institutions begin to invest, and there are three to four new ETFs in the pipeline, expected in the second quarter of 2021.

“They are thematic and global equity ETFs, similar to products we have put out in the past,” Kennard says. 

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