This week saw Texas-based Bob Smith of Sage Advisory and UK-based John Willis of Planet Trackers comment on the differing approach to regulating ESG investing from the US and Europe. Smith agrees with the effort to help prevent ‘greenwashing’ or what he calls ‘bait & switch style’ techniques that could result in poor or unintended outcomes for investors as evidenced by the announcement from the SEC, while Willis comments that this is catch-up compared to the EU which is presently the rule-setter on ESG and sustainability issues.
Planet Tracker is back again this week with its survey and report revealing ETFs and mutual funds on investment websites are failing to meet customers’ sustainability requirements.
The big profile this week and one that again puts ESG ‘front and centre’ is of Arne Noack, the new Head, Systematic Investment Solutions, America for DWS. “The one thing that is important for us is how far sustainable and ESG-related investing is front and centre to everything we do,” Noack says. DWS saw record inflows of USD1 billion USD into its ESG ETFs in 2020.
And let’s just take a look at those ETF inflows: ETF assets now stand at USD8.3 trillion and BlackRock reported global ETP Flows for February marked the largest inflow month for global ETPs on record, with USD131.7 billion added, beating the previous record set in November 2020 (USD126.5 billion). Investor confidence lay behind the boost, according to Amundi, who noted in their ETF inflows report, that US equities fared the best.
Finally, we have an interview with SS&C ALPS Advisor’s Laton Spahr and Blue Tractor’s Simon Goulet on their recent launch which saw a number of firsts: the first Blue Tractor semi-transparent ETF and the first semi-transparent ETF on Nasdaq. ALPS Active REIT ETF is managed by REIT specialist firm, GSI Capital Advisors.
Innovation and inflows – where will the ETF industry go next?
Managing Editor, ETF Express
Companies in this issue
GSI Capital Advisors
SS&C ALPS Advisors
UBS Asset Management