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Monday, October 08, 2012

Can FlexShares Take On DFA?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Murray Coleman of the Wall Street Journal has a piece on the rebound of Northern Trust's [profile] FlexShares ETF line, three years after being forced out of the market due to the financial crisis.

FlexShares have "reemerged with newfound popularity," Coleman writes. All four of the new FlexShares ETFs launched last year are among the top 20 new ETFs in net inflows this year.

But Coleman's sources think that DFA's line of ETFs would be a tough competitor for Northern Trust's market share over the long haul.

Of the FlexShares U.S. Market Factors Tilt ETF, which has attracted almost $106 million of new money this year, Mark Armbruster of Ambruster Capital Management told Coleman, "The question is whether these tilt ETFs are really unique enough to separate themselves from DFA and other potential competitors."

And Rick Ferri, founder of Portfolio Solutions, also has his doubts that Northern Trust can go toe--to-toe with DFA long term. ""The FlexShares tilted ETFs offer some of the same flavor of DFA funds. But they don;t provide the same level of sophistication in execution or exposure, particularly in dealing with value stocks." 

Edited by: Chris Cumming

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