Strategas Asset Management launched its first two exchange-traded funds on Tuesday, a move its CEO said was prompted by interest from the institutional investors it serves.
The asset manager has launched the Strategas Macro Thematic Opportunities ETF and the Strategas Global Policy Opportunities ETF, according to a press release.
“It’s really just a natural extension,” CEO Nicholas Bohnsack said in an interview regarding the decision to offer ETFs. “We’ve offered our thematic macro strategies in other wrappers – mutual funds and separately managed accounts along the way – and clients have just said ‘Hey, the ETF wrapper is the easiest, can we do it.'”
Mr. Bohnsack is also president and chief operating officer of affiliated company Strategas Securities, which he helped found in 2006. While macroeconomic research examines broad trends involving things like government policy, the stock market and the economy, Strategas Securities strives to take whatever macro views it takes and “identify the investable conclusion,” he said.
This led to the creation of “a lot of baskets of stocks” and questions from the firm’s institutional research clients about how they might invest in such concepts, Mr. Bohnsack Strategas Asset Management was launched in 2014 to facilitate this, the CEO said.
“They gave us the greatest compliment a research firm could receive, which was ‘not only do we love your attention’ so to speak,” but we want to put our money where your mouth,'” he said.
However, when it came to offering ETFs, “we took a long time to get there,” Bohnsack said, adding that his firm was constantly talking to its institutional clients, not just about its own ideas , but also trends that these customers see.
Increasingly over the past four or five years, institutions have started using ETFs frequently in their portfolios, he said.
“And so when we started to see this critical mass change, you know, it started to become a more interesting topic for us,” Bohnsack said.
The Strategas Macro Thematic Opportunities ETF is an actively managed fund that will leverage Strategas’ “research-driven approach to drive a holistic thematic rotation strategy, focusing on the macro themes around which the Strategas team has the strongest conviction. “, reads the press release. It will invest in stocks listed in the United States.
The Strategas Global Policy Opportunities ETF, an actively managed global equity fund, “combines Strategas’ proprietary supercyclical ‘lobby intensity’ framework with the asset allocation approach recommended by the portfolio management team” , the statement said.
Strategas Asset Management had about $760 million in assets under management and advisory as of Dec. 31, Bohnsack said.