A CT Research Shop Enters the ETF Biz
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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A CT Research Shop Enters the ETF Biz

A Connecticut shop that specializes in real estate investing research is entering the ETF business.

Alex Pettee
Hoya Capital Real Estate
President, Head of ETFs
Today the team at Rowayton, Connecticut-based Hoya Capital Real Estate [profile] launched their first ETF, the Hoya Capital Housing ETF (HOMZ) on the NYSE. Alex Pettee, president and head of ETFs at Hoya Capital, confirms that he expects to launch more ETFs down the line.

"We don't know precisely what the next strategy's going to be," Pettee tells MFWire. "The plan is to kind of identify what's needed out there in the ETF marketplace.

Hoya Capital Real Estate advises the new ETF, and Hoya Capital Index Innovations provides the index. Penserra Capital Management subadvises the ETF, Cohen & Company is the independent accountant, and Morgan Lewis & Bockius provides legal counsel. U.S. Bank serves as as the ETF's custodian, transfer agent, and administrator, and U.S. Bank's Quasar is the distributor.

Hoya Capital Real Estate, a subsidiary of 30-year-old wealth management RIA Pettee Investors, has been actively doing research since 2015, Pettee confirms.

"This is kind of our first major product launch," Pettee says. "It was really the product of feedback from asset management clients and readers."

The new ETF tracks an index that is designed to look across different housing-related areas, such as home improvement, home building, home ownership, and home financing.

"It's the first ETF that tracks the entire U.S. housing industry," Pettee says. "The components are designed to accurately track total spending on housing at the national level ... It gives investors an efficient way to express this view that housing costs continue to rise."

Pettee argues that the new ETF "could be a core component of millions of households' total portfolio," as a kind of hedge against the rising costs of housing. The Hoya Capital Real Estate team first explored white label ETF options, Pettee confirms.

"We've always felt that the ETF is the most efficient wrapper," Pettee says. "We decided that it made more sense for us to get the exemptive relief ourselves."

In terms of distribution and marketing, the new ETF is now "available on essentially every self-directed platform," Pettee says. One channel of specific interest is young investors, Pettee says, as he sees an interest in real estate crowdfunding.

An alumnus twice over from Georgetown, Alex Pettee worked at Pettee Investors as a PM before joining Hoya Capital Real Estate.

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