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Rating:A Gotham ETF Strategist Startup Focuses Distro Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Gotham ETF Strategist Startup Focuses Distro

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

An ETF strategist startup in New York City is targeting its distribution through a pair of channels, at least to start off.

"I'm focusing on working with smaller distribution channels," Linda Zhang, founder and CEO of Purview Investments, tells MFWire.

Zhang unveiled Purview last month and launched its first product: Purview Impact Solutions, a global, actively-managed, multi-asset, ESG strategy, built out of ETFs and offered to clients in separately managed acccounts. Zhang sees Purview Impact Solutions being of particular interest in two channels: to smaller, independent insurance broker-dealers who "need cost effective and transparent ETF solutions"; and family offices and RIAs "who are looking for third party managers."

"I just don't think there's full-blown ESG strategies out there," Zhang says. "I'm not aware there is anything like this on the market yet."

Purview's SMAs cost 45 basis points and come with an account minimum of $100,000. Yet further down the line, Zhang anticipates making the strategy accessible to more investors.

"I'm really hoping this strategy will be available to the millennials, who may or may not have $100,000 readily available," Zhang says. "Some kind of fund structure could be ideal ... At some point if there's enough momentum of demand that would make sense for us to start some kind of fund structure."

Zhang, an alumna of both University of Regina and UMass Amherst, is a co-founder and board member of Women in ETFs and a veteran of multi-asset investing. She previously served as head of research at Schwab's Windhaven Investment Management, a Boston-based ETF strategist, before departing in 2016. Prior to that she worked at MFS, BlackRock, State Street, and Barings.

"There are tremendous opportunities for global multi-asset strategies these days," Zhang says, pointing to the thousands of ETFs that strategists can now use as building blocks. "You can really create a very sensible strategy with a much higher degree of precision."

Yet despite that opportunity, Zhang says, she sees gaps in the existing ETF strategist business.

"Despite all the availability of multi-asset strategies these days using ETFs, the majority of the strategies out there, including the roboadvisor products, are strategic in nature in terms of asset allocation," Zhang says. "They don't necessarily take an active view on the market. I see a great opportunity for truly actively managed ETF solutions."

Zhang started Purview with an ESG strategy, she says, because she sees "an evolving belief that investors can meet their investment goals and at the same time fulfill their value system."

"We don't have to depend on government policies or industry policies to live in a cleaner environment. We have a choice," Zhang says. "We can choose to invest in companies that comply with ESG principals."

Looking ahead, Zhang says Purview may launch other global multi-asset strategies that aren't ESG-focused, strategies that "will go much deeper" into specific countries, sectors, or themes. 

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