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Friday, January 15, 2016

Don't Call Them ETMFs

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

When it comes to the new type of funds that Eaton Vance [profile] is creating, call them NextShares or exchange-traded managed funds but don't use the abbreviation.

Stephen Clarke
NextShares Solutions LLC
This quarter the team at the Boston-based, publicly-traded mutual fund shop plan to launch the first funds using the new structure created by their freshly-rebranded NextShares Solutions subsidiary. At least 11 other firms have signed on so far to license the structure and launch their own NextShares. Stephen Clarke, president of NextShares, recently chatted with MFWire to clarify the branding of the new type of fund, which is mean to combine ETF-like efficiencies in performance and taxes with traditional-mutual-fund-like protection of trading information.

The new fund structure has been years in the making, and ever since November 2014 the Eaton Vance folks have been touting NextShares as the brand for that new structure. Yet MFWire also used an acronym, ETMF, to refer to the new structure.

"The formal name of the product is an exchange-traded managed fund. That hasn't changed," Clarke says. "We are an industry of acronyms. In the early days it was very natural for exchange-traded managed funds to be abbreviated as ETMFs."

Yet after some "deep dive market research" with investor and FA focus groups, business partner discussions and more, Clarke and his team are no longer using the acronym "to avoid confusion."

"We gained knowledge that 'ETMF' could potentially be confused with 'ETF'," Clarke says.

Clarke confirms that Eaton Vance and the other fund firms licensing the new structure will all label the funds as "NextShares". 

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