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Fund News Advisors Can Use: Voya Acquires Small-Cap Growth Business

In this week's fund news, Voya acquires the investment advisory business of Tygh Capital Management; Hartford launches first semitransparent ETF; VanEck's bitcoin futures ETF lists; and Schwab introduces its first active and ESG ETF.

Voya’s asset management business has announced plans to acquire the investment advisory business of Tygh Capital Management, a small-cap growth manager in Portland, Ore. Terms of the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, were not disclosed.

TCM, which specializes in managing small-cap and small/mid-cap growth portfolios for institutional and retail investors, manages the TCM Small Cap Growth Fund (TCMSX), with $520 million in assets. That fund will be reorganized into the Voya Small Cap Growth fund in the second quarter of 2022.

The acquisition follows news earlier this year that Voya Investment Management would modernize its equities investment platform. Vincent Costa, head of the quantitative equity team and portfolio manager on Voya’s large-cap value strategy, was promoted to co-chief investment officer, effective Jan. 1. He’ll work with Michael Pytosh, who has been CIO of equities since 2017 and head of equities since 2010.

James Dorment and Kristy Finnegan, portfolio managers for the firm’s value and growth strategies, respectively, will serve as co-heads of fundamental research. In addition, Eric Ross joined the firm as senior technology analyst, coming over from Marsico Capital Management. Leigh Todd, a senior research analyst at BNY Mellon, will join in December as senior portfolio manager on Voya IM’s growth strategies.

Hartford Launches First Semitransparent ETF

Hartford Funds has jumped into the exchange traded funds business with the listing of its first actively managed, semitransparent ETF. The Hartford Large-Cap Growth ETF (HFGO) is subadvised by Wellington Management.

The ETF uses Fidelity’s active equity ETF model, which uses a “tracking basket” approach.

“We believe that this new fund, which offers active equity management in an ETF wrapper, has the potential to be an attractive option for both financial professionals and investors,” said Vernon Meyer, CIO at Hartford Funds, in a statement. “We are not only pleased to further strengthen our subadvisory relationship with Wellington, but also our partnership with Fidelity, whose active equity ETF model has allowed us to expand our offerings.”

VanEck Goes Live With Cheapest Bitcoin Futures ETF

VanEck’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) started trading last week, with a net expense ratio of 65 basis points, the least expensive bitcoin futures ETF on the market. But the trading volume of the fund dwarfed that of ProShares’ bitcoin futures ETF, launched in October. Some argue ProShares had the first mover advantage, despite its higher expense ratio of 95 basis points.

The VanEck product had only about $5 million in trading volume on its first day, compared with the ProShares ETF at about $1 billion on day one.

“While a ‘physically backed’ bitcoin ETF remains a key goal, we are very pleased to be providing investors with this important tool as they build their digital asset portfolios,” said Kyle DaCruz, director, Digital Assets Product at VanEck, in a statement. “Cost and tax treatment are two essential considerations for investors, and we have made both front and center in the design of XBTF. Investors deserve lower cost, transparent, regulated bitcoin exposures, and we’re pleased to be leading that charge with the launch of XBTF and all of our ongoing efforts in the bitcoin and digital assets space.”

Schwab Introduces New Semitransparent Active ESG ETF

Schwab Asset Management’s Ariel ESG ETF (SAEF) started trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week, Schwab’s first ESG ETF and first active ETF.

The semitransparent ETF will be subadvised by values-based manager Ariel Investments and will invest in small and mid-cap stocks screened for environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

The fund charges a 59 basis point operating expense ratio.

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