When high-priced insurance brokers start touting low-priced products, what does that mean?
More competition for distribution in the fund industry, for one. On Tuesday, Guardian Life's subsidiary Park Avenue Securities
announced it was jumping all aboard the ETF train. The broker dealer has launched an ETF-only wrap service called the ETF Managed Solutions program.
The firm started thinking about ETFs a little more than two years ago, said James Clemens
, Park Avenue's senior vice president and head of investment advisory services. Advisors have responded positively to the new program: "they feelfelt that this was a product they wanted to give their clients," said Clemens.
The decision to roll out the product, however, was not driven by advisors, said Clemens.
And because ETFs are low cost, Clemens is unworried that sales of the product will cannibalize actively-managed sales. "We don't think [ETFs] will pull from our own products...[but attract] mostly new money," said Clemens. Investors in the product will likely be former index fund investors, said Clemens.
Park Avenue officials touted the low cost of ETFs in a release: "ETFs have become an attractive alternative to traditional index mutual funds. Although index funds are widely talked about for their low expenses relative to actively managed funds, ETFs are more cost efficient."
Will more distributors look to provide lower cost products? Stay tuned.
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