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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Teaming Up, a $64B-AUM Firm Enters the ETF Space

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The folks at a $64-billion-AUM (as of June 30) asset manager are entering the ETF space by teaming up with a familiar, $39-billion-AUM (as of July 31) ally. Watch for more ETFs to come from the partnership next year after an initial launch last week.

Jeffrey Kent "Jeff" Seeley
iM Global Partner
Deputy CEO, Head of U.S.
Yesterday, Kevin Dolsen, head of distribution at Polen Capital [profile], and Jeff Seeley, CEO of iMGP's iM Global Partner Fund Management [profile], unveiled the debut of the Polen Capital Global Growth ETF (PCGG on the NYSE Arca, Inc.). The iMGP team confirms that PCGG — Polen's first foray into actively managed ETFs — "marks the initial offering in a planned suite of ETFs set to debut in 2024."

PCGG is an active, non-diversified series of Litman Gregory Funds Trust. (iMGP bought Litman Gregory in 2021.) The new ETF's inception date was August 30, and it comes with an expense ratio of 85 basis points.

iM Global Partner Fund Management, LLC will serve as PCGG's investment advisor, with Polen Capital Management serving as subadvisor. The new fund is powered by a strategy that the Polen team has offered in SMA form since 2014. PCGG is powered by a PM team that includes two iM Global Partner Fund Management executives (Jeremy DeGrott, managing director, chief investment officer, and co-portfolio; and Kiko Vallarta, co-head of equity strategies and co-PM) and two Polen executives (Damon Ficklin, head of portfolio management team, PM, and analyst; and Bryan Power, director of research, PM, and analyst).

Dolsen puts the launch of PCGG in the context of the Polen team's commitment to expanding their strategies "into different vehicle types to meet specific client needs."

"Active ETFs offer a great way for clients to access a proven active manager like Polen while benefiting from the product's tax, liquidity, and transparency advantages," Dolsen states. "As we continue to grow, we will continue to take our tested high-conviction strategies and match them with structures investors demand."

"This partnership combines the power of Polen's investment expertise in active management, coupled with iM Global Partner's distribution capabilities through its US ETF platform," Seeley states. (iMGP is a distribution ally to, and minority investor in boutique asset managers; it has been a minority backer of Polen since 2015.)

The new ETF's other service providers include: ALPS Distributors, Inc. as distributor; Cohen & Company, Ltd. as independent accounting firm; Paul Hastings LLP as counsel; and State Street Bank and Trust Company as accounting services agent, administrator, custodian, securities lending agent, and transfer agent. 

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