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Rating:A $16.6B-AUM Firm Streams Into the ETF Space, And ... Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A $16.6B-AUM Firm Streams Into the ETF Space, And ...

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The folks at a publicly traded, $16.6-billion-AUM (as of December 31), 41-year-old firm in Texas are entering the exchange-traded fund space with their first ETF, and they're prepping a second.

Brian O. Casey
Westwood Holdings Group
Yesterday, Brian Casey, CEO of Westwood Holdings Group (WHG) [profile], Greg Reid, president of real assets at Westwood, and Parag Sanghani, SVP and PM at Westwood, unveiled the launch of the Westwood Salient Enhanced Midstream Income ETF (MDST on the NYSE). And the Westwood team has also filed to launch a second ETF, the Westwood Salient Enhanced Energy Income ETF (WEEI on the Nasdaq).

MDST and WEEI will both be series of Ultimus Managers Trust. WEEI will have an expense ratio of 85 basis points, while MDST has an expense ratio of 80bps and already has $2.496 million in AUM.

Westwood Management Corp. serves as investment advisor to MDST, and Vident Asset Management serves as trading sub-advisor. The new ETF's PM team includes: Ryan Dofflmeyer, senior portfolio manager at Vident; Frank Gardner, senior vice president and PM at Westwood; Austin Wen, PM at Vident; Rafael Zayas, SVP and head of portfolio management and trading at Vident; Reid; and Sanghani. The same PM team, and the same subadvisor and investment advisor, are slated to power WEEI, too.

"Launching our first ETF clearly demonstrates Westwood's commitment to providing innovative investment tools, regardless of vehicle or wrapper, that fit within our broad capabilities," Casey states. "Westwood is focused on building an ETF business that complements our mutual fund and institutional offerings while providing our clients with the differentiated and distinctive investment tools they need to succeed."

MDST and WEEI are designed to invest in energy-focused stocks and MLPs, with a covered call options overlay added on to boost income. Both funds are actively managed and "high conviction" (aka non-diversified).

"By utilizing options, specifically covered calls, MDST looks to increase the portfolio dividend yield to achieve a double-digit target by capturing call option premium income," Reid states. "We expect to deliver all of thise while maintaining some participation in upside on the portfolio."

"The approach is tailored for income-seeking investors looking for total return," Sanghani states.

MDST and WEEI's other service providers include: Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) as custodian and transfer agent; Cohen & Company, Ltd. as independent accounting firm; Northern Lights Compliances Services, LLC (NLCS) as compliance consulting provider; Northern Lights Distributors, LLC as distributor; Sullivan & Worcester LLP as counsel; and Northern Lights sibling Ultimus Fund Solutions, LLC as administrator. 

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