Vanguard, the king of passive investing with over 70 index-based ETFs, has asked for exemptive relief for offering actively managed ETFs via an Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Vanguard, with over 2.5 trillion in AUM, is known for its index-based funds, both mutual funds and ETFs. However, the new filing suggests the firm is looking to branch further into active management. Although there is no mention of an initial fund and in practice there is a long period of time between been granted exemptive relief and launching a new product, with this filing Vanguard joins a growing number of fund companies filing for actively managed ETFs.
Companies such as Fidelity, Eaton Vance, Precidian, and Davis Selected Advisers have looked into joining the active ETF wagon, which accounts for roughly 26.4 billion dollars of the 2.3 trillion ETF market.
The Vanguard filing notes: “Applicants believe that the ability to execute a transaction in ETF Shares at an intra-day trading price has, and will continue to be, a highly attractive feature to many investors. As has been previously discussed, this feature would be fully disclosed to investors, and the investors would trade in ETF Shares in reliance on the efficiency of the market. Although the portfolio of each Fund will be managed actively, Applicants do not believe such portfolio could be managed or manipulated to produce benefits for one group of purchasers or sellers to the detriment of others.”