In Georgia, an ETF Entrepreneur Favors Hiring and Alliances
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

In Georgia, an ETF Entrepreneur Favors Hiring and Alliances

An ETF entrepreneur in Georgia plans to grow his team in several areas soon, though he's less interested in M&A.

The team at Atlanta-based Vident Financial (which offers proprietary ETFs through Exchange Traded Concepts (ETC)) now includes eight employees, and ten strategic consultants, CEO Vince Birley confirms, and its Vident Investment Advisory arm (which subadvises outside ETFs) has about ten people, too. Vident now has about $6 billion in AUM, including about $2 billion in its own products and about $4 billion subadvised by VIA. Last month Vident launched its latest proprietary ETF, the U.S. Diversified Real Estate ETF (PPTY on NYSE Arca).

"We're looking to build out more quant capabilities here in Atlanta ... We just hired an operations person at Vident Investment Advisory," Birley tells MFWire. "Vident Investment Advisory has grown very quickly with people over the last year."

"We're also looking at some sales capabilities on the Vident Financial side," Birley adds.

Yet Birley is less interested in the M&A side of the expansion equation.

"We've not been looking actively at acquisitions," Birley says. "We're very accustomed to partnering."

"Some of our people are strategic consultants. We find unique ways of being able to create relationships," Birley adds. "That's been more of the way we've operated ... We're pretty open architecture as to the way to engage with us."

Vident, which launched its first ETFs in 2014 and began subadvising outside ETFs in 2016, has an uncommon ownership structure. Since day one, the firm has been owned by the Vident Investors' Oversight Trust. The trustees ensure that all of Vident's offerings reflect its principles, and that all profits are used to benefit the shareholders of Vident's ETFs (either by reinvesting the profits in the business or by using them to reduce the ETFs' fees).

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