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Monday, November 23, 2020

Tom Carter Resurfaces, With a New ETF

Reported by Katherine Robertson

Tom Carter, who most recently served as board chairman at ALPS ETF Trust, has joined Washington, D.C.-based startup Ridgeline Research as president. Carter joined the firm in September 2019, but revealed his position at the firm on October 29, 2020 with the launch of Ridgeline's first product, the American Conservative Values ETF (ACV).

Thomas "Tom" Carter
Ridgeline Research
Carter tells MFWire that this ETF is currently the firm's only product.

"We plan on having some new products," Carter says. "We want to get this one off the ground before that happens."

Carter explains that the firm was founded in late 2019 by Arrow Funds alum Bill Flaig . Carter tells MFWire that it was Flaig and Ridgeline's product specifically that compelled him to join the firm, after leaving his prior position at ALPS in 2017.

"I left [ALPS] about three years ago and took a couple of years off. The founder of Ridgeline, Bill Flaig, reached out to me and explained his idea," Carter says, referring to the conservative values-based ETF Ridgeline now offers. "I looked at the marketplace and saw that there was nothing being offered like this, and thought that it was something that differentiated itself. I just thought that there was an opportunity here to raise assets."

Carter tells MFWire that the ACV ETF boycotts certain companies that do not support conservative causes.

"We are a top-down approach," Carter says. "We started with more of a large cap index and we eliminated companies that we think support liberal causes — like Twitter and Facebook."

As for what's next for Ridgeline, Carter says that the focus is marketing and sales.

"Getting the product up and running and now marketing and selling the product is now what me and my partner, Bill Flaig, are doing," Carter says. 

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