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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grail Plots Four New Active ETFs

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Grail Advisors, the San Francisco-based investment management subsidiary of investment bank Grail Partners, on Monday filed with the SEC to launch four new active ETFs. The new offerings will be the industry's first traditional active ETFs employing a single-manager approach, said Bill Thomas, Grail Advisors CEO.

Grail hired RiverPark Advisors, a New York-based firm consisting mostly of Baron Capital alums, to serve as the primary sub-adviser for the RP Growth, RP Technology, RP Financials and RP Focused Large Cap Growth. For the Focused Large Cap Growth, RiverPark will share sub-advisory chores with St. Louis-based Wedgewood Partners Inc.

The ETFs will come with an expense ratio of 89 basis points. Grail plans to launch the funds on September 1.

RiverPark was founded in 2006 by former Baron Capital president and chief operating officer Morty Schaja and ex-Baron portfolio manager Mitchell Rubin.

Schaja, RiverPark's CEO, said the firm intends to make staff additions in time for the September launch of the ETFs and within a year, RiverPark executives hope to double the current staff count of six.

Last month, Grail rolled out the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF, which employs a multi-manager approach. That fund has gathered around $3 million so far, Thomas said. Grail plans to take the wraps off the Grail American Beacon International Equity ETF sometime this summer.  

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