The summer lull has not impacted ETF asset growth, with ETF data providers ETFGI reporting ETF assets sailed through USD9 trillion at the end of July, marking 26 months of consecutive inflows, and an asset increase of 18.4 per cent over the year to the end of July in 2021.
Launches have continued through this summer period, dominated by shades of green as our global launches column reveals. All but two products launched over the last couple of weeks had some sort of ESG or SRI filter attached, and the remaining two are very much based on technologies and hopefully cleaner technologies of the future: ETF Securities’ Australian launch of a semi-conductor ETF and micro-investment platform Wombat’s Battery Fund.
Features over the last weeks have included a shout out from European white labeller HANetf, which is celebrating its rapid growth over the last three months with 10 new thematic ETFs in including Europe’s first space ETF, airlines ETF, software ETF and a host of clean energy ETFs including Europe’s first pure play solar energy ETF and distributed renewable energy ETF. The firm has also launched HANzero, which seeks to neutralise the carbon emissions of a portfolio by purchasing Carbon Offsets in climate-positive projects.
The US ETF asset base has undoubtedly seen billions of dollars in inflows from the latest trend of US mutual fund conversion to ETFs. Bloomberg’s Ben Morris explained to ETF Express that the transparency of the ETF is what is driving this move. Morris comments that it is fascinating at the highest level to see this development of acceptance of the ETF structure, against two or three years ago, where, he says, there was more skepticism around ETFs.
More growth stories come from iM Global Partner’s Philippe Couvrecelle and Jeffrey Seeley who detail the firm’s plans to expand in the ETF space, post their investment in the US’s Richard Bernstein Advisors, a US investment management firm with a sizeable ETF portfolio.
Two ETF product lines have dominated the industry this year: ESG and crypto, and our fourth feature in this news letter is an interview with Dave LaValle, newly hired from Alerian, to be Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale Investments, arguably the world’s largest digital currency asset manager with USD25 billion in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
His appointment comes as the US still awaits the SEC ruling on launching a digital asset ETF, despite over a dozen applications. Recently, US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler signalled that regulators may be more open to approving a bitcoin ETF if it was based around futures rather than the cryptocurrency itself, but no firm advance has yet been made. Grayscale is poised to convert its bitcoin trust into an ETF. “Despite there not being a bitcoin ETF in the market, there is certainly no shortage of demand for cryptocurrencies and we are in a unique position with a product in the market and trading,” LaValle says.
ETF Express has worked with the Responsible Asset Owners Global Symposium in the past and is very pleased to be able to offer a discount to potential delegates at this year’s European outing on October 5th. More information is here and use this code BCVIP25 for a 25 per cent discount to this powerful and timely event.
Beverly Chandler, Managing Editor, ETF Express
Companies in this issue
BNP Paribas AM
Global Palladium Fund
iM Global Partner
UBS Asset Management