One of the exchange traded fund (ETF) websites, ETF Connect, offers information about closed-end funds and ETFs. This site is run by Nuveen Investments (JNC), which doesn’t even have ETFs, in fact, they are the largest U.S. closed-end fund company. While they are not in the ETF business, it is a wonder why they have an ETF related site. Could it be they are testing the waters to jump into ETF offerings?
Now there is news that Nuveen will be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners. Jason Kelly and Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam of Bloomberg report Madison Dearborn manages private-equity funds and was attracted to Nuveen because their closed-end assets are not subject to investor withdrawals and is a steady source of fee revenue. Closed-end funds make up about 32% of Nuveen’s assets, other offerings include mutual funds and separately managed accounts.
What does this mean for ETFs? Both Nuveen and Madison Dearborn are not in the ETF business, but ETF Connect is a fairly popular website. It will be interesting to see how the acquisition plays out, how the website is handled, and if ETFs will become a focal point of the business. Nuveen has until mid-July to solicit other offers, could an ETF provider jump in?
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.