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Rating:Thomas Spreads the Wings of AmCent's First Untethered Brand Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, September 27, 2019

Thomas Spreads the Wings of AmCent's First Untethered Brand

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The team at American Century [profile] first "untethered brand" has rolled out their inaugural products, and Jonathan Thomas aims to unlock another marketplace segment: investors who build asset allocations out of passive or factor-based products.

Jonathan Stuart Thomas
American Century Investments
President, CEO
Yesterday Thomas, president and CEO of Kansas City, Missouri-based American Century, unveiled the first five products from American Century's new Avantis Investors boutique, after Avantis added three PMs last month. All five are ETFs: the Avantis International Small Cap Value ETF (AVDV), the Avantis International Equity ETF (AVDE), the Avantis Emerging Markets Equity ETF (AVEM), and the Avantis U.S. Equity ETF (AVUS).

Eduardo A. Repetto
Avantis Investors
Chief Investment Officer
Though American Century does have a special alternative investments brand, AC Alts, Avantis is the first "untethered brand" for the fund firm, Thomas says.

"Also, this is a departure from an investment philosophy perspective, ... a modernized approach of blending active and passive investing," Thomas tells MFWire. "It warrants a separate brand."

Eduardo Repetto, who joined American Century in June as chief investment officer of Avantis, confirms that the Avantis team will follow up by launching mutual fund versions of all five new ETFs, with the same expense ratios (ranging from 15 to 36 basis points each).

"It's the same investment strategy in two wrappers," Repetto tells MFWire.

Looking ahead, Repetto says there are many additional possible strategies that the Avantis team could work on next, depending on client demand. Thomas says that launching Avantis "has been a full-firm effort" at American Century.

"The market receptivity, the client interest in this has been exceptional, probably the strongest I've ever seen in terms of general, out of the gate interest," Thomas says, adding that American Century's "Prosper With Purpose" message also factors in for Avantis. (American Century's plurality shareholder is a medical research center.)

"It helps a lot of people connect," says Pat Keating, who joined alongside Repetto (a fellow DFA veteran) in June to serve as chief operating officer of Avantis. 

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