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Thursday, August 3, 2023

A $54B-AUM Boutique's 2nd ETF Debuts

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A $54-billion-AUM (as of June 30), 37-year-old boutique's team recently powered up their second ETF for U.S. investors. The new fund is part of the 60-ETF suite offered by the boutique's $1.4-trillion-AUM (as of June 30), 76-year-old, publicly traded asset manager parent.

Anujeet Sareen
Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC
Portfolio Manager, Global Fixed Income
Last week, Patrick O'Connor, global head of ETFs at Franklin Resources, Inc. (dba Franklin Templeton [profile]), and Anujeet Sareen, portfolio manager at Franklin's Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC, unveiled the launch of the BrandywineGlobal - U.S. Fixed Income ETF (USFI on the Nasdaq). The actively managed, translucent (aka semi-transparent or active non-transparent i.e. ANT) fixed income ETF is a series of the Franklin Templeton ETF Trust.

USFI's inception date was July 25, and as of yesterday it had $12.27 million in AUM. Its expense ratio is 39 basis points.

Franklin Advisers, Inc. serves as investment advisor to USFI, with Franklin Distributors, LLC serving as distributor and Franklin Templeton Services, LLC (FT Services) serving as administrator. Brandywine serves as the new fund's subadvisor, and the fund is PMed by four Brandywine portfolio managers: Sareen, Tracy Chen, Brian Kloss, and Jack McIntyre.

The Franklin team notes that Brandywine first launched its U.S. fixed income institutional investment strategy 28 years ago. As of June 30, that strategy powered more than $3.2 billion across other pooled investment vehicles and SMAs.

"The current environment provides a compelling opportunity for investors to reconsider their allocations to bonds," Sareen states, emphasing that the new fund combines "Brandywine Global's top-down, macroeconomic-driven investment approach" with its "bottom-up fundamental analysis of individual investment opportunities."

"Our focus on active management and strategic portfolio decisions differentiates our approach to investing in U.S. fixed income and offers an attractive complement to investors' other portfolio allocations," Sareen adds.

O'Connor notes active fixed income ETFs have been "a recurring topic of conversation with clients this year."

"Franklin Templeton continues to leverage the expertise of our specialist investment managers to develop products that meet investors' needs and preferences and respond to changing dynamics in the greater investment landscape," O'Connor states. "We believe fixed income is an area where active management shines."

The launch of USFI last month follows the debut last October of Brandywine's first equity ETF, a converted mutual fund that had $150.86 million as of yesterday.

USFI's other service providers include: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as independent accounting firm; and State Street Bank and Trust Company as custodian, dividend-paying agent, sub-administrator, and transfer agent. 

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