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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Prepare For the NextShares Push

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The Eaton Vance [profile] team is about to start making the case, in a big way, for their new ETF-like product structure for active asset management.

Bob Cunha, managing director of marketing and distribution strategy at Eaton Vance, confirms that the publicly-traded, Boston-based mutual fund shop's Navigate Fund Solutions will kick off an advertising campaign in May and June for the NextShares "exchange-traded managed funds" structure (they trade like ETFs, but with transparency dialed back to mutual fund levels) that Eaton Vance CEO Tom Faust is throwing his weight behind. The campaign will include both online and print components in the financial and trade press, Cunha tells MFWire, and it will be geared towards the likes of financial advisors and mutual fund executives.

"We'll be doing quite a bit of advertising," with a "pretty heavy educational component," Cunha says. "This is more about explaining."

He adds that Eaton Vance will also "have a pretty significant presence" at the ICI GMM next week in Washington.

Eaton Vance is one of the five firms so far that have publicly revealed plans to license the NextShares ETMF idea: the others at American Beacon, Gabelli, the Hartford, and Victory. Cunha confirms that Eaton Vance is ramping up its resource-commitment to the NextShares effort.

"We believe that there's value in getting the word out on NextShares," Cunha says, noting that the ads don't mention Eaton Vance. "We're trying to just explain the concept."

He notes that Eaton Vance calculates that 65 percent of U.S. equity mutual funds would've beaten comparable index funds and ETFs over the past seven years if they had been in an ETMF structure instead.

"It's not always obvious to people why they would want exchange-traded product" for active investments," Cunha adds. "Performance is the message ... performance and tax efficiency. That's why we believe an exchange-traded structure is the future of actively-managed investments." 

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