Executives from FaithShares Advisors
, the Oklahoma-based firm that recently rolled out five Christian-based ETFs,
were in New York City Monday morning to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
In attendance were four of the company's five-member staff, including J. Garrett Stevens, CEO of FaithShares Trust and FaithShares Advisors, and Thompson S. Phillips, Jr., president of the Trust and FaithShares Advisors. As previously reported by The MFWire
, the first of the three Christian-based ETFs began trading December 10, while the second two ETFs launched December 15.
Joining FaithShares at the ceremony were several corporate partners, including FTSE, KLD (recently acquired by RiskMetrics), and SEI. Stevens told The MFWire that FaithShares will aim to expand globally if these five funds' performance proves strong and that the firm is working with KLD to develop global indexes that would permit investors worldwide the opportunity to invest along Christian-based principles.
Garrett confirmed that FaithShares has also received interest from investors looking for a Jewish equivalent to the Christian ETFs, as well as inquiries from other Christian denominations, such as Nazarenes. While FaithShares is open to both considerations, Garett anticipates launching global Christian-based ETFs first.
In an interview with CNBC from the floor of the stock exchange, Phillips emphasized the "very impressive" backtesting results the ETFs have posted over the past five years for which backtesting has been conducted. When asked whether FaithShares will reevaluate keeping Nike in its portfolio of companies – due to the fallout of the Tiger Woods' scandal and its potential to generate backlash from Christian-minded investors – Stevens explained that FaithShares screens companies on a more "industry-excluding" basis, avoiding tobacco or liquor-producing companies rather than unlucky corporate sponsors with philandering celebrity spokespeople.
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