Calamos Has More Than Giannis to Work With on Its ETF Team

Calamos Investments has an extensive history as an active mutual fund manager, but it made a splash in the ETF space when it launched its first ETF in partnership in February 2023.  

“Who better than Giannis Antetokounmpo to help announce Calamos’ entry into the ETF market?” asked Matt Kaufman, head of ETFs at Calamos Investments, of VettaFi on the sidelines of the firm’s ETF bell ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) last week.

Calamos recently launched the Calamos Antetokounmpo Global Sustainable Equities ETF (SROI), an actively managed equity ETF incorporating ESG analytics. Though Antetokounmpo is not making investment decisions for the ETF, he is serving on the advisor’s board of directors and helping to shape its charitable contributions along with John Koudounis, president and CEO of Calamos Investments. SROI plans to donate a portion of its proceeds to charities that support economic empowerment and financial education, especially to young people in the community. 

“Giving back to the community is something very important to my family,” noted Antetokounmpo before ringing the closing bell at the NYSE. “The team we put together can change the world.” 

Recent top holdings for SROI include Merck, NVDIA, and Visa, but Calamos stressed that the ETF is not just a portfolio screened based on ESG attributes as many of the larger ESG funds are. 

The fund invests in high-quality growth companies that have strong financial metrics and seeks to address non-financial risks related to governance, ecological impact, and human development. SROI’s ticker was chosen as shorthand for societal return on investment, according to Calamos. Stocks are actively chosen by co-managers Tony Tursich, Jim Madden, and Beth Williamson. The team focused on sustainable investing for more than 20 years prior to the launch of the ETF, using a proprietary scoring system.  

SROI is the first ETF from Calamos, but it likely will not be the last, as we have seen many established mutual fund providers launch one ETF and then soon after build out a broader lineup.  

“Calamos has a core competency with convertible securities, having started investing in them in the 1970s as well as a rich background using derivatives,” explained Kaufman. “We expect to leverage our expertise in these areas.” Calamos was named the best overall Small Fund Family Over Three Years by Refinitiv Lipper in 2022. 

While there are a handful of ETFs that invest in convertible bonds, such as the iShares Convertible Bond ETF (ICVT) and the SPDR Bloomberg Convertible Securities (CWB), these are index-based. Given the growing demand for actively managed ETFs in 2023, we think Calamos could have success here too. Though Antetokounmpo has a recognizable name, Calamos also has a rich heritage it can tap into as it educates advisors about its products and makes inroads in the ETF market. 

For more news, information, and analysis, visit VettaFi | ETF Trends.