Grail Advisors Plans To Launch 4 Active, Single-Manager ETFs

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June 9, 2009 9:08am ETF BASIC NEWS

grailadvisorsGrail Advisors LLC plans to launch four exchange-traded funds, which it says will be the first traditional actively managed ETFs to use a single-manager approach.

The San Francisco-based asset manager filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch RP Growth, RP Focused Large Cap Growth, RP Technology and RP Financials ETFs. RiverPark Advisors LLC will serve as the primary sub-adviser for each of the funds, and St. Louis-based Wedgewood Partners Inc. will also sub-advise the RP Focused Large Cap Growth ETF.

Trading for shares for the new ETFs is expected to begin Sept. 1 on the NYSE Arca exchange.

“One of our goals from the outset was to bring traditional, active fund managers to the ETF marketplace,” said William Thomas, chief executive of Grail Advisors. With these funds, that day has come “a lot sooner than even the most enthusiastic proponent of the ETF structure could have imagined,” he said.

The new ETFs will combine the lower cost, tax efficiency, transparency and intra-day trading of an ETF structure with active management from a veteran asset-management team, Grail said.

RiverPark was founded in 2006 by Morty Schaja, now its chief executive, and Mitchell Rubin, now its chief investment officer. Its principals came from Baron Funds.

Each of the fund’s managers will have the discretion on a daily basis to choose securities consistent with the ETF’s investment objective. David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood, will manage RP Focused Large Cap Growth.

Schaja said he expects the new funds to have a dramatic impact on the way investors invest over time, and touted their low cost and transparency. The new ETFs will be launched with a full expense ratio of 89 basis points, which is less than a comparable mutual fund, he said.

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