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Friday, August 28, 2015

An ETF Bigwig Seals Two Key Alliances For His Startup

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A ETF bigwig recently sealed two key alliances for his latest venture. And he's got four ETFs in the pipeline.

Ben Fulton, founder and CEO of Elkhorn Capital Group, confirms that the Wheaton, Illinois-based now has a strategic partnership with the giant British multinational bank Barclays. And Elkhorn is also amping up its relationship with technical analysis specialist Dorsey, Wright & Associates. Meanwhile, today Elkhorn filed to launch four more ETFs.

Elkhorn's first ETF, the Elkhorn S&P 500 Capital Expenditures Portfolio (CAPX), debuted earlier this year on the Nasdaq. Fulton aims to debut those four next ETFs by the end of the year, and he expects to launch another 10 to 12 in 2016. And they would all be under the indexed, smart beta, or model-driven umbrellas.

"We've got a busy product launch cycle coming up," Fulton tells MFWire.

As for the alliances, Elkhorn had already teamed up with Dorsey Wright. Now that shop's founder, Tom Dorsey, is a "strategic stakeholder" in Elkhorn. Fulton is the startup's majority owner, with the rest of Elkhorn's employees also having equity stakes.

Elkhorn has an existing alliance with another giant European bank, BNP Paribas, though the relationship is somewhat dialed back from its peak. (BNP even once held a stake in Elkhorn.) For its part, this isn't Barclays' first ETF foray; it used to own Barclay Global Investors, parent of ETF titan iShares.

"We knew we needed a large global bank as a partner," Fulton says, praising Barclays as "a great firm." "They're very excited to be back in the ETF business."

Fulton, former managing director of PowerShares, launched Elkhorn in 2013. Last year Elkhorn released structured products and market-linked CDs. This year they launched their first ETF (see above) and seven UITs, the European equivalent of mutual funds.

"We do a lot of collaboration" with folks like Research Affiliates and S&P, as well as with Barclays, BNP, and Dorsey Wright, Fulton says, while Elkhorn focuses on things like design and distribution. 

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