This week’s ETF Express newsletter reflects a range of themes in the ETF industry. We have two stories connected with indices. The Index Standard has hired index veteran Jay Watson as head of analytics. Watson says that his role with The Index Standard will be to add more weight on the technical side. “I am looking forward to developing more refined analysis and ratings and extending the ratings to different types of products beyond ETFs and indices, for example to fixed index annuities – anywhere where an index is fundamental to a product,” he says. “There is a big need for a better understanding of indices.”
Meanwhile, Qontigo, which was created from the merger of its index provider, STOXX, with US-analytic firm Axioma in 2019, has emerged from what Stephan Flaegel, its Chief Product Officer for Index, call its ‘turning point year’. The resulting company is majority owned by Deutsche Boerse and has the index capabilities of STOXX and DAX, as well as the analytical skills of Axioma, as Flaegel explains.
“We are the link between the real economy and the finance economy,” Flaegel says. “We have a certain responsibility to come up with indices that further the transition to sustainable development goals and Qontigo has a unique skill set in our capabilities with optimisation, sustainability and thematics which enable us to develop tailor-made solutions to our clients.”
Other news this week comes from Canada’s BMO, whose mid-year ETF report, highlights the continued popularity and record-setting growth of ETFs in Canada.
“The market seems to be moving faster than ever, pivoting with each trending headline: vaccine news, political shifts, company earnings,” says Mark Raes, Head of Product, BMO Global Asset Management Canada. “Agility is key in this environment and more investors than ever are seeing how ETFs can play an important role in their portfolio strategy. ETFs continue to maintain their popularity as portfolio staples, as proven by another six-month inflow record and continued trading liquidity.”
Shooting across the globe, South Korean firm Qraft Technologies has just undergone its August rebalancing for its three core funds within its AI supported portfolios. Qraft Technologies’ Francis Oh annotates the changes.
And finally, we have a cryptocurrency story. ETF Express recently interviewed David LaValle at Alerian, but he is on the move. Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, has hired him as Global Head of ETFs. The firm writes that this is a newly created position and is a direct extension of the firm’s commitment to transparency, responsible growth, and converting its family of products into ETFs.
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Managing Editor, ETF Express
Companies in this issue
Duff & Phelps
The Index Standard