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Martijn Rozemuller, VanEck Europe
Martijn Rozemuller, VanEck Europe

Keep it local and keep it simple

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VanEck Europe | Best Global Equity ETF Issuer ($100m-$1bn)

Martijn Rozemuller, CEO of VanEck Europe, answers the questions for VanEck Europe.

What is the size and scale of your business at the moment?

VanEck Europe has seen enormous growth over recent years and currently has USD9/10 billion in assets under management, with staff numbering 50 spread over Europe, in locations ranging from Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Zurich to the newly added London. Milan will follow.

The European geographical spread is partly due to the history of the company, but also because I believe in a local language approach. It’s about money and trust and so we have always been trying to be local.

The European division of VanEck launched in 2012/3 and was at first managed out of New York. That wasn’t ideal, and the development of a local European business came when VanEck bought my company, Think ETFs, in a move which rationalised having management on the ground in Europe.

European growth has been significant last year and has continued into this year.

What trends have you seen over the past year?

The trends are a bit of a continuation of 2022 and there is an appetite for thematic exposure and more appetite for different exposures.

There is no way around crypto and we had launched crypto products in 2020 and last year there was a real come back in the crypto area.

How have your products, the VanEck Semiconductor ETF and Defence ETF, done over the past year?

Anything that is slightly related to AI, like the VanEck Semiconductor ETF has grown unbelievably quickly. The 2023 launch of a Defence ETF has also done really well in terms of asset growth. Moreover, the firm also has a long history in gold which is enjoying a rising gold price.

What plans do you have for growing your business over the coming year?

Future plans include geographical expansion, hence those new offices in London, which will most probably be followed by Milan. The firm’s assets are up from USD2.5 billion in 2019 in Europe, to USD9/10 billion, virtually quadrupling while the head count has only doubled. That is a good ratio but the bigger scale makes it easier to fund new ideas and we are more able to increase the geographic footprint and keep coming up with types of exposure that aren’t there.

We try to be a bit stubborn in finding our own way and not just coming up with the next usual ETF but something a bit different. The idea is to invest our time and effort into our existing products, creating content and ammunition our sales team needs to convince the end client in 2024.

Looking forward, I see active ETFs as something that is centre stage but I am interested to see how convincing the performance of active strategies will be.

The growth in Europe so far has mostly been driven by passive and the best investment case is quite strong so it will be interesting to see how they perform over their passive alternatives.

The European landscape will see more crypto related products as there is definitely demand for it and the US approval of spot bitcoin ETFs has led to more comfort for financial institutions on the buyside in Europe.

Why do you think you won this award?

I believe our firm won this award because we have always done things a little bit differently and have a couple of global equity products that underline that.

Our sustainable product has a ESG screen but also an equal weight in the index which was different. With all this talk of the magnificent seven being overweight, it becomes straightforward, even if associated with its risks. Usually, when you keep it simple in financial products that means that it works better. That adds value for our clients and wins us awards.

To read the rest of the report please click here.

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