Nontransparent ETFs is the next phase in the evolution of ETFs, Rob Owens, head of client services at SEI Investments, said at the 2020 Inside ETFs conference.
"For a long time, traditional active managers have been leery to bring out an active ETF because of the transparency concerns and giving away the secret sauce of what they're doing," he said. "We feel like nontransparent really levels the playing field for mutual fund clients."
He added that SEI developed its ETF outsourcing platform with active ETFs in mind, so they were ready once ETF providers got their active funds approved by the SEC.
"We're not looking to take sides," he said. "We want to partner with our clients to see what packaging makes the most sense for their strategy, how it's offered, how it's delivered and ultimately how they distribute that to their clients.
"We've spent a lot of time in the way managers consume data and processes built to not only run ETFs but run their underlying investment books of record," he said.