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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This ETF CEO Plans a Distro Expansion

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A mutual fund and ETF shop in the MidAtlantic is beefing up its distribution efforts.

Joe Barrato, CEO of Arrow Investment Advisors [profile], confirms that he's planning an expansion of both Arrow's internal sales desk and its regional broker-dealer channel. The expansion comes shortly after the Laurel, Maryland-based shop launched the Arrow QVM Equity Factor ETF. Arrow now offers five mutual funds and three ETFs, and two of those three ETFs debuted in the past year. Watch for it to launch two active ETFs soon.

"One thing that we're always doing is looking at ways to enhance and improve our distribution," Barrato tells MFWire.

The Arrow team previously hailed from Rydex (now part of Guggenheim Investments). They launched Arrow nine years ago, and Barrato says the firm is all about "delivering packaged solutions for advisors, tactical solutions." Arrow now works with more than 3,000 advisors.

Barrato describes the new ETF as having a smart beta approach that draws on what he says are the ways that active managers deliver on performance: like concentration, factor focus, weighting, and more. It is Arrow's first pure equity product and its first ETF to use the SEC relief that allows Arrow to self-index. It is powered in part by Ford Equity Research, which helped Arrow develop the screening process underlying the Arrow Insights Quality Value Momentum Index.

Looking ahead, Barrato says Arrow might develop a small cap or international version of the new ETF. He's also looking at fixed income strategies and quantitative equity strategies. And Arrow already has two active ETFs (balanced strategies with a tactical mandate) in registration with the SEC.

"We're just waiting for the right time to put them out," Barrato says.

He prefers launching ETFs, but he's open to launching additional traditional mutual funds, too.

Arrow has its own broker-dealer, its own trust arm, and distribution with big broker-dealers. And it has done its homework with the regulatory process, too.

"We have all the exemptive relief that we need," Barrato says. 

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