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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Principal's New ETF Chief Is Considering All the ETF Flavors

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Paul Kim is leading Principal Global Investors [profile] into the ETF business, and he's not restricting the push to just one type of exchange-traded product. He's also gathering his forces.

"We are definitely looking at both active as well as passive vehicles," Kim, who joined PGI in March as director of ETF strategy, tells MFWire. "We also filed for the NextShares ETMF relief."

(Exchange-traded managed funds are a new, ETF-like fund structure, designed to help PMs hold their investing cards a little closer to the vest. An Eaton Vance subsidiary created the ETMF structure and is licensing it out under the NextShares brand.)

Last month PGI debuted its first ETF, the Principal EDGE Active Income ETF (ticker: YLD) subadvised by PGI's own EDGE Asset Management. And PGI also recently filed for SEC exemptive relief to launch passive ETFs, too.

"Some strategies may fit in an active, disclosed ETF. Others may be more appropriate for passive. Some may be more appropriate for the non-transparent ETMF structure," Kim says, pointing to so-called "smart beta" approaches. "Some investment solutions may have greater risks with disclosure."

PGI has a variety of different active and smart beta investing capabilities and styles across its different boutiques, a variety he intends to draw on as he builds out PGI's ETF lineup. Yet he notes that he doesn't have "a set schedule" for launching more ETFs.

"We're in the process of building out ... an ETF-dedicated team," Kim says. 

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