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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Franklin Preps a $68MM-AUM Transformation

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The team at a $1.4-trillion-AUM (as of December 31), publicly traded asset manager is preparing their third ever mutual fund-to-ETF conversion, this time with a seven-year-old, $68.25-million-AUM fund. They also plan to tweak the fund's strategy, even while keeping the same PM in charge.

Patrick H.E. O'Connor
Franklin Templeton
Global Head of ETFs
On Monday, Patrick O'Connor, global head of ETFs at Franklin Resources, Inc. (dba Franklin Templeton [profile]), revealed that the San Mateo, California-based fund firm's team plans to transform the Franklin Focused Growth Fund into a new ETF, the Franklin Focused Growth ETF. Pending shareholder approval, the transformation is scheduled for Q4 2023. The fund will be Franklin's 60th ETF in the U.S.

Matthew Moberg, senior vice president and portfolio manager with the Franklin Equity Group, is expected to continue PMing the transformed fund. He has PMed the mutual fund since its inception in April 2016.

The mutual fund currently comes in five share classes: A shares with a max front-end load of 550 basis points and an expense ratio of 110 bps; C shares with a max deferred load of 100 bps and an expense ratio of 185 bps; R shares with an expense ratio of 135 bps; R6 shares with an expense ratio of 72 bps; and Advisor shares with an expense ratio of 85 bps. All those share classes will be replaced by the ETF.

The ETF will be powered by the same strategy as the mutual fund, except that the ETF will be non-diversified (and thus more concentrated in its more portfolio holdings).

"The conversion of this mutual fund to an ETF will enable shareholders to invest in a substantially similar strategy as the current mutual fund with the tax efficiencies and structural benefits of an ETF," O'Connor states. 

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