Gabelli Launches Active Thematic ETF, GAST | ETF Trends

Gabelli Funds launched its third ETF on Wednesday, an equities fund focused on the beneficiaries of automation.

The firm, a subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, has added the Gabelli Asset ETF (GAST) to its line-up of semi-transparent actively managed ETFs. The new thematic value ETF is listed on the NYSE.

GAST will invest in a broad range of readily marketable equity securities consisting of U.S. exchange-listed common stock and preferred stock. According to regulatory filings, GAST may also invest in foreign securities by investing in American Depositary Receipts.

In pursuing the investment theme, GAST will offer exposure to leading firms that design, develop, support, or manufacture automation equipment, related technology, software, or processes, as well as firms that use these to automate and increase productivity in their own businesses, according to a statement from the firm.

The fund will invest in industrial and service automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and related equipment and software. 

GAST may invest in firms in any economic sector and any geographic region. The fund evaluates the entire ecosystem of components and technology providers that support the reshaping and upgrading of global production networks and address tight labor markets and productivity challenges worldwide, according to a statement from the firm. 

Portfolio management will take a value investing approach, focusing on companies that appear underpriced relative to their private market value, considering factors such as price, earnings, expectations, earnings and price histories, balance sheet characteristics, and perceived management skills. Changes in economic and political outlooks and individual corporate developments will also be considered.

According to regulatory filings, the portfolio manager will sell any holdings that lose their perceived value relative to other investments.

The portfolio will be managed by an investment team led by Brett Kearney. The team also includes Justin Bergner and Hendi Susanto, each a portfolio manager for Gabelli. 

Gabelli has contractually agreed to waive the fund’s management fee of 0.90% on the first $25 million in net assets until January 5, 2023, one year from the commencement of the fund’s operations. 

Gabelli’s other ETFs currently available to investors include the Love Our Planet & People ETF (LOPP) and the Growth Innovators ETF (GGRW). Launched in February of 2021, both LOPP and GGRW use the semi-transparent structure. Each fund has an expense ratio of 90 basis points, although the management fee for LOPP is waived until February 1, 2022, one year from the fund’s launch. 

LOPP and GGRW have $12 million and $4 million, respectively, in assets under management.

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