Harbor Launches Dividend Growth ETF Through Mutual Fund Conversion

Harbor Capital Advisors has added a new ETF to its lineup by converting an existing mutual fund with a nine-year track record and roughly $150 million in assets under management.

The Harbor Dividend Growth Leaders ETF (GDIV), listed on the NYSE on May 23, is an active ETF sub-advised by Westfield Capital, the same portfolio management team behind the predecessor Westfield Capital Dividend Growth Fund.

“We are thrilled to extend our long-term strategic partnership with Westfield, providing advisors and investors with another vehicle to access our firm’s investment strategies,” Kristof Gleich, President & CIO, said in a statement in March. “Fully transparent, actively managed ETFs have the potential to help clients meet their long-term investment goals, and we will continue to build out Harbor’s ETF franchise with talented, institutional-caliber asset managers like Westfield.”

The conversion to an ETF structure is expected to offer investors exposure to the same strategy but with lower fees and a more tax-efficient vehicle, according to the March statement from the firm. 

GDIV will pursue an actively managed strategy that seeks long-term growth of capital and income by investing in a relatively concentrated portfolio of primarily large-capitalization companies with a history or prospect of paying stable or increasing dividends, as determined by the portfolio manager and investment team, according to regulatory filings. The fund will pursue the same investment strategy that the Westfield Capital Dividend Growth Fund has pursued since its inception in 2013. 

Will Muggia, who had served as the portfolio manager of the Westfield Capital Dividend Growth Fund and is the largest individual investor in the fund, will serve as the portfolio manager of GDIV, according to a statement from the firm. 

Muggia has over 35 years of experience investing in U.S. equities and leverages the fundamental research of an experienced and tenured investment team. The investment team’s strategy employs a bottom-up process to identify companies that meet the team’s fundamental criteria and then performs a qualitative review of each identified company to select companies for inclusion in the fund’s portfolio, according to a statement from the firm.

The fund charges a 50 basis point expense ratio.

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