‘White Label,’ Turnkey Companies Help ETF Industry Expand

ETF Trends

Small money managers are beginning to enter the exchange traded fund fray as so-called white label, turnkey ETF companies provide an easy way to build and launch an investment idea.

ETF issuers like Exchange Traded Concepts, ALPS, AdvisorShares and ETF Issuer Solutions help go through the regulatory approval process, provide a board of directors and get an ETF listed on an exchange for $20,000 to $100,000 in startup costs, reports Ashley Lau for Reuters.

Some small hedge fund managers, for example, see ETFs as an ideal way to increase assets under management. Smaller funds often find it harder to bring in large pension funds and institutions that look for large hedge funds with billions in assets under management and long track records. As a result, more are beginning to look at ETFs as a way to market their investment strategies, targeting financial advisors and retail investors instead. [Hedge Fund Strategies Could Bolster ETF Growth]

Additionally, hobbyists see the investment vehicle as a way bring their investment ideas to others. For instance, Frank Tobe, who invested his own money in robotics stocks for more than a decade, decided that he wanted a robotics-themed ETF. In June 2013, Tobe, with the help of ETC, started crafting t he Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (ROBO) , which now holds over $100 million in assets under management. [Robotics ETF Tops $100 Million in Assets]

Tobe argues that going through an turnkey ETF provider helped save him 90% in startup costs and over eight months of regulatory red-tape.

In comparison, someone would have to pay $500,000 to $1.25 million to launch an ETF from scratch, according to ETF industry consultant Robert Tull.

Foreign asset managers are also turning to these white label companies to gain easy access to U.S. investors.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from overseas (firms) wanting to come and talk to us,” Exchange Traded Concepts Chief Executive Officer Garrett Stevens said in the article. “The (U.S.) markets are very unfamiliar to them.”

For more information on the ETF industry, visit our current affairs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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