Although actively managed exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been slow to take off, that may not be the case for much longer.
Last year, a slew of the funds were entered into registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and many expect a large chunk of those to come to market this year.
Jessica Toonkel for Investment News points out that whether or not they will actually gather significant assets is another story. Today, there are 19 actively managed ETFs with a total of $1.23 billion in assets. [Actively Managed ETFs Poised for Take Off.]
Toonkel also spoke with Eaton Vance CEO Thomas E. Faust Jr., who spoke about his firm’s plans for their own active funds. Faust said that transparency is an issue with active ETFs, so the firm purchased the intellectual property of Managed ETFs, which works to build non-transparent ETFs.
As a result, when Eaton Vance’s fund come to market, they won’t have to disclose holdings each day. “It doesn’t make sense to communicate to the world effectively in real time what you own and your trading activity,” Faust told Toonkel. One of the few areas in which Eaton Vance sees transparency as being appropriate, however, is in fixed-income. [4 Reasons to Be Sold On Actively Managed ETFs.]
Are transparency concerns overblown? Some believe they are, simply because it’s not cost-effective and it’s time-consuming to monitor and mimic a manager’s every move. In most cases, it would simply be easier to just buy the fund itself. And don’t forget that a fund’s holdings aren’t necessarily updated in real time; providers are only required to update them once a day, so a front-runner could conceivably be hours behind a trade.
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.