Meet a New ETF Provider: Neuberger Berman | ETF Trends

Neuberger Berman is one the many established asset managers that entered the ETF market in the past year. In April 2022, the firm launched three actively run thematic ETFs tied to megatrends. The Neuberger Berman Carbon Transition Infrastructure ETF (NBCT), the Neuberger Berman Disruptors ETF (NBDS), and the Neuberger Berman Next Generation Connected Consumer ETF (NBCC). To learn more about the team and approach behind these ETFs as well as what’s next, we spoke to Scott Kilgallen, head of intermediary distribution at Neuberger Berman.

VettaFi: Neuberger Berman has a long history with actively managed mutual funds but launched ETFs in April 2022. Can you talk about what made the team excited to offer ETFs?

Scott Kilgallen: We’re excited to expand and broaden investor access via the ETF wrapper for the first time at Neuberger Berman, to our established thematic equity investment capabilities, focusing on research rigor, portfolio construction, and risk analysis.

We have long prided ourselves on a commitment to investor outcomes via active management and the integration of big data, fundamental and quantitative research to drive collaborative research that strengthens the depth and breadth of our insights.

We actively engage with companies to positively influence corporate behaviors and advocate for shareholder interests — maximizing long-term, sustainable returns. In creating these ETFs, we think we have identified an opportunity to create strategic exposure to important, scaled themes for investors.

VettaFi: Let’s talk about the Neuberger Berman Carbon Transition Infrastructure ETF (NBCT). Can you tell us about the team behind the strategy?

Kilgallen: NBCT is managed by a tenured team of seasoned Neuberger Berman senior research analysts with a successful track record investing in infrastructure. The ETF is run by three portfolio managers — Ron Silverstri, Jaren Mann, and Jim Tyre — who average 23 years of experience. The managers leverage insights from a seasoned global research team, with experience navigating volatile markets, and are powered by an experienced, global thematic franchise team managing more than $18 billion in assets.

VettaFi: How does NBCT seek to provide exposure to carbon transition?

Kilgallen: NBCT is differentiated in its focus on maximizing long-term returns by investing in companies we view as innovative with commercial impact in carbon transition infrastructure. The decarbonization megatrend is a $50 trillion opportunity with accelerating momentum in near-term tailwinds from the convergence of policy, green stimulus, and investor focus on ESG factors. 

The ETF invests across three key themes: low-carbon resources, electrification, and carbon transition solutions. Electrification solutions help replace technologies that use high-carbon-emitting fuels with those that use low-carbon resources as an energy source. Low-carbon resources include energy companies focused on reducing CO2 emissions through renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, green hydrogen, and their related storage and transport. 

Carbon reduction solutions encompass products and services that facilitate the carbon reduction goals of infrastructure owners, including pipeline conversions, carbon capture technologies, carbon-neutral building materials, and alternative additives or industrial gasses. 

NBCT will have 30–50 holdings at all stages of the growth cycle with an emphasis on companies with hard assets and cost-competitive clean energy resources. 

VettaFi: What’s ahead for the Neuberger Berman ETF lineup in the future? 

Kilgallen: We continue to strategically assess where our investment expertise intersects with client demand for an ETF vehicle. Neuberger Berman’s ETF offerings complement our mutual funds, closed-end funds, and separately managed account capabilities to expand investor choice when selecting the strategies and vehicles that best align with their portfolio construction needs.

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