Russell Investments has launched the first set of its own exchange traded funds as the index provider and money manager tries to reach financial advisors and institutional investors with specialized ETFs.
The Seattle-based company recently listed a half-dozen ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange. Earlier this year, it entered the U.S. ETF business when it acquired U.S. One and took over as investment advisor for Russell Equity ETF (NYSEArca: ONEF). “For the past two years, Russell has labored to win SEC approval to begin offering ETFs,” Morningstar commented on the recent launch.
In an interview, Russell ETF executives touted the firm’s seasoned management team and access to historical research on investment managers.
Lee Kranefuss, who previously headed the iShares ETF business, is a trustee of the Russell ETFs, according to the prospectus.
James Polisson, managing director of Russell’s global ETF business, in the interview said the firm wants to roll out both passive and active products. “There are few players at the leading edge of beta products and active ETFs,” he said.
Polisson added Russell isn’t interested in launching “me-too” products that try to compete on price. The firm is primarily targeting financial advisors and institutions with the ETFs, he said.
The six new Russell ETFs track “investment discipline” indexes that are based on decades of manager research on style.