Prerna Chandak, Mackenzie Investments

ETF Express newsletter for 23.7.21

This week saw the launch of a number of initiatives devoted to the art of keeping things clean. We were pleased to bring you the launch of Viridi Funds with its ESG approach to crypto mining and semiconductors and a conversation with Wes Fulford, CEO, who tells us that the actively managed ETF will be the first clean energy crypto mining product in the US.
We also have Sage Advisory’s fourth annual Stewardship Survey which finds that ETF issuers have improved in their voting practices. “We believe good stewardship practices and ESG principles are closely linked because they promote greater transparency and accountability,” says Emma Harper, an ESG research analyst at Sage and survey author. “Good stewardship also fosters a culture of responsibility, and it seeks the alignment of stakeholder interests to secure and increase long-term capital value.”

And we have an interview with former US ETF Express Awards’ winner, Dorrit Lowsen of Change Finance which has published its latest Advocacy Report. “We think it’s important to be active investors and we see the landscape shifting with a record year for ESG proxy voting,” Lowsen says. “All investors need to be reminded that if you own stock, you can vote and you can reach out directly to companies and organisations like ours which are trying to build opportunities to engage.”

As we go to press, we have the news that specialist thematic ETF issuer Rize ETF has sold a majority stake in its business to AssetCo, the UK’s firm, headed by Martin Gilbert, the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, that buys up asset managers and wealth managers. Acquisition has been in the news in the wealth sector and it is interesting to see a mainstream asset management firm acquiring a specialist ETF issuer. The Aim-listed company last month announced the acquisition of Edinburgh-based boutique Saracen Fund Managers.

Our In My Opinion this week comes from Prerna Chandak of Canada’s Mackenzie Investments who recommends a framework for due diligence when selecting ETFs, ideally one that includes four key components: assessing index exposure, product structure, total cost of ownership and support offered by the ETF provider.

Our launches this week were many and various and included many that ‘do more good’ for the environment in the words of iClima’s co-founder and CEO, Gabriela Herculano. iClima launched two new ETFs in the US this week. CIBC Asset Management Inc has launched an ETF Series of CIBC Sustainable Investment Solutions this week, providing access to actively managed strategies that seek to align with the investing values of socially responsible investors. A portion of CIBC’s revenues from managing these environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions are donated to organisations supporting climate transition activities.

And Bloomberg Intelligence has crunched the numbers and found that the world is on track to have a USD1 trillion ESG ETF market and an USD11 trillion ESG debt market by 2025. Both ESG ETF and ESG debt are leading the growth among ESG investing strategies, BI says.
Talking of Bloomberg, voting is now open for the ETF Express US awards. Follow this link to place your votes: 

Beverly Chandler, managing editor, ETF Express

Companies in this issue

Change Finance
Goldman Sachs
Mackenzie Investments
Mirae Asset Global Investments
Sage Advisory
Viridi Funds


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