The latest ETF startup has an ESG focus, along with plans for expansion.
"We have a whole list of strategies" under consideration, Change Finance
CEO Donna Morton
. "We have some ambitious growth in our near future."
Last week Change Finance launched
its first fund, the Change Finance Diversified Impact U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free ETF
. Key allies on the launch include U.S. Bank
(fund accounting, administration, and custody), Cantor Fitzgerald
(lead market maker), and Vident
"We do everything that we're good at, and then we hire out for everything else," Morton says.
The Change Finance team currently includes six people, three full-timers and three part-timers. Yet they're planning to expand. And they're in talks with outside firms for distribution support, president Andrew Rodriguez
On the product front, Morton says, their second ETF is likely to have a "gender lens on women's equality issues" and a global focus. Their current fund is specifically focused on the U.S.
The Change Finance team hails from wealth management, where they built separately managed accounts with "deep value screens." Thanks to positive feedback from other wealth managers and a potential acquisition inquiry from "a large mutual fund company," Morton says, they decided to start up their own shop. They picked ETFs because of the rapid growth there and because of the ability to reach smaller investors. And thus was Change Finance born about 1.5 years ago.
"If we're going to make our name in this space, we might as well make it in the fastest growing part of the space," Rodriguez says.
"We'd like to have millions of people coming in at $8 a piece," Morton says.
The team includes "a mix of financial people and lifelong changes" who have worked at NGOs, think tanks and the like. They've raised about $1 million in capital so far, mostly from early stage investors, Rodriguez confirms, and the company is majority-owned by women. The next round of capital, probably in 2018, will come from more institutional investors.
The Change Finance team is mostly in Colorado and in the Washington, D.C. area.
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