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A Rising Power in the Active ETF Arena


Though growing, actively managed exchange traded funds remain a small part of the ETF business. Active ETFs accounted for $20.38 billion in assets under management as of June 5, up from $20 billion a few weeks prior.

A new upstart issuer is helping drive actively managed ETF growth. New Jersey-based WBI Investments introduced its lineup of 10 active ETFs just 10 months, immediately racing to the $1 billion in assets under management mark. The company ended May with $1.5 billion in combined active ETF assets with all 10 of its funds residing north of the $100 million in AUM level. [Another Good Year for new ETFs]

Only PIMCO, First Trust, WisdomTree, StateStreet and iShares have more actively managed ETF assets under management than WBI.

“With market valuations at historical highs, it’s natural for investors to be thinking about the next correction,” said Matt Schreiber, president of WBI, in a statement. “Our actively managed ETFs offer investors a way to protect their capital in bear market cycles while still participating in a good portion of bull markets.”

Home to $304.3 million in assets as of June 11, the WBI Tactical Income Shares (WBII) is WBI’s largest ETF. WBII has benefited from being at the right place at the right time, coming to market amid a surge in volatility that sent investors flocking to low volatility strategies. WBII provides “provides low volatility, low correlation and an optimal blend of bear market capital preservation and bull market return,” according to WBI Shares.

“WBI’s proprietary bond model strives to reduce interest rate risk on core bond holdings in an effort to protect invested capital. The goal is to actively shorten duration to minimize loss as interest rates rise, or to lengthen duration to increase yield and potential for capital gain as interest rates decline,” according to the issuer. [A Simple Short-Term Bond ETF]

Other WBI standouts include the $142.8 million WBI Large Cap Tactical Growth Shares (WBIE) , an ETF that has rapidly developed a reputation for outperformance. While WBIE looks to reduce volatility and can raise cash in times of market stress, that does not mean the ETF’s managers are standing on the sidelines as U.S. stocks continue to climb to record highs. [A new way to Active ETFs]

The WBI Large Cap Tactical Yield Shares (WBIG) has nearly $145 million in AUM, an ETF that offers investors exposure to, in addition to Treasurys, high-quality companies with reputations for dividend growth. [A Nifty Active ETF]

WBI Large Cap Tactical Yield Shares