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Laton Spahr, SS&C Alps Advisors
SS&C Alps Advisors, Laton Spahr

SS&C ALPS Advisors sees growth in active ETF offerings

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Laton Spahr, president of SS&C ALPS Advisors, and SS&C ALPS Advisors’ Chief ETF Strategist, Paul Baiocchi explain that the USD22 billion firm is on a growth path with its ETFs.

Spahr says that the most exciting story in ETFs is the rise of the active fund. “The macro backdrop has dominated and the emergence of the magnificent seven is the most consistent thing we have seen alongside this drumbeat of the growth in active ETFs.”

Passive has dominated flows, particularly into huge firms, and has been going on for 20 years, but there is something new with the rise in active, he says.

Spahr explains that the firm has recently added to its range of active funds which include a fund based on REITs and another on municipal bonds. A new product with Smith Capital Investors, launched in December, has crossed USD600 million in assets.

The firm has USD5.9 billion in its active funds and has recently made the Barron’s Best Fund Families list of active ETF and Mutual Fund issuers for the first time, coming in at 41 out of 49. “We have grown enough so that we are in the top 49 fund families which is awesome. We are an underdog and it’s like promotion to the Premier League so it’s exciting.”

Baiocchi comments that Smith Capital Investors is a critical partner for SS&C ALPS Advisors.

“We have mutual funds with them from core to short duration to high yield and balanced, and have raised USD4 billion across those mutual funds. Now that we are such an ETF centric firm and active demand is growing, offering a fund in an ETF wrapper allows Smith Capital Investors to interact with different investor types. 

“We don’t draw a line in the sand as we understand that people like both ETFs and mutual funds so offering the liquidity, transparency and efficiency of the wrapper was critical to us and offering broader access to the Smith Capital expertise.”

He notes that active ETFs in fixed income continue to be a massive opportunity to firms like SS&C ALPS Advisors.

Spahr also explains that the firm is emphasising asset allocation models based on ETFs going forward, through integration with the Black Diamond Wealth Platform. 

“The model portfolios go directly to the registered investment adviser,” Spahr says. “They like it as they don’t have huge resources and effectively it’s an asset manager within SS&C where our technology component is a big advantage.”

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