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Fund News Advisors Can Use: New Investment Firm Aims to Bring Private Market Strategies to Advisors

In this week's fund news, Evolution Private Investment Collective aims to bring private markets strategies to advisors; Engine No. 1's new ETF targets impacting companies through proxy voting; and Amplify introduces a new cleaner living ETF.

A new Denver-based investment management firm, Evolution Private Investment Collective, which was incubated inside a $2.5 billion multi-family office, has launched this week and aims to bring a series of funds invested in private markets to the retail financial advisor space.

“Realistically, in addition to access, advisors need to be confident that they are investing in high quality opportunities, meeting client investment objectives, and offering a scalable and consistent strategy,” said Alec Garza, managing principal and co-founder of EPIC, who launched the strategy at Denver-based IWP Family Office. All without significantly increasing their overhead and introducing administrative complications. We believe we are the only group acknowledging advisors needs in a holistic way.”

The investment strategy will not be structured as a pooled fund, but rather a unique share class structure that allows advisors to customize their allocations to private markets. It will provide exposure to 20 to 30 private fund managers in the lower middle market, and have lower minimums than typical funds in the space.  

Despite the growing size of private markets, only 14% of independent financial advisors have found a viable private market solution for their clients,” Garza said in a statement.

The Little Engine That Could

About a month ago, activist investment firm Engine No. 1 shocked the investing world when it won three seats on Exxon Mobil’s board of directors, in an effort to bring climate change issues to the oil company. And now the firm is taking its activist approach to a broader swath of companies, with the launch of the Engine No. 1 Transform 500 ETF (VOTE).

The ETF, which will charge an expense ratio of 5 basis points, will invest in market-cap weighted index of the 500 largest U.S. stocks. And the fund will seek to impact companies’ environmental and social agendas through proxy voting, campaigns and the investors they bring in.

The firm also announced Betterment would be integrating the ETF into all of its socially responsible investing strategies.

“We share Engine No. 1’s vision that index funds should serve as collective action vehicles for sustainability-minded investors and are excited to integrate this groundbreaking ETF into our SRI strategies,” said Boris Khentov, senior vice president of operations at Betterment, in a statement.

Want to Detox? There’s an ETF for That

Thematic ETF issuer Amplify ETFs, the company behind the online retail ETF, has launched a new index-based exchange traded fund aimed at capturing the cleaner living theme. The Amplify Cleaner Living ETF (DTOX) invests in companies focused on cleaner products and services across industries.

The ETF, based on the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Index, is equally weighted across more than 70 holdings, and provides exposure to the theme across five segments, including food and dining, health and beauty, building and infrastructure, energy and transportation.

“When it comes to human health and environmental impact, cleaner living is a global trend that’s just beginning,” Amplify ETFs CEO Christian Magoon said in a statement. “Consumer, government and corporate spending is powering this mega-trend, and we believe companies with a majority of their revenue from cleaner living products and services are positioned to thrive. DTOX is the first U.S.-listed ETF to provide pure exposure across a diversified basket of companies focused on this unique investment opportunity.”

The fund has an expense ratio of 59 basis points.

Macquarie, Wilshire Launch Private Markets Fund

Macquarie Asset Management and Wilshire Advisors have launched the Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund, available to accredited investors that invest in private equity, private credit, alternative yield and private real assets.

Wilshire has a history of advising some of the biggest institutions on their private markets portfolios. This new fund brings their expertise downstream.

“The launch of Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund helps to democratize the private markets for individual investors and expand access to strategies with historically higher returns, lower volatility, and more diversification,” said Shawn Lytle, global head of public investments, Macquarie Asset Management.

The fund will be structured as a master feeder fund, and aims to provide diverse exposure across the private markets sectors, managers, industries, geographies and vintage years.

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