Two Years In, a VC-Backed ETF Shop Retakes the Lead
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Two Years In, a VC-Backed ETF Shop Retakes the Lead

A venture capital-backed ETF startup in Gotham led among the smallest fund firms last month.

William Rhind
Founder, CEO
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on May 2019 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. More specifically, this article focuses on the 515 firms (five more than in April) with less than $1 billion in fund AUM each. 221 of those firms gained net inflows last month.

GraniteShares retook the lead last month in the sub-$1-billion-AUM pack, bringing in an estimated $48 million in net May inflows, up from $7 million in net April outflows. Other big May winners included: Trust for Credit Unions, $35 million (down from $60 million); Infinity Q, $32 million (up from $8 million); ICM Series Trust, $32 million (up from $6 million); and Liberty Street, $26 million (up from $10 million).

Proportionately, setting aside brand new fund families, iM Global Partners led the micro fund firm pack with estimated net May inflows equivalent to 64.67 percent of its AUM, down from 45.49 percent in April. Other big May winners included: Procure ETF Trust II, 62.17 percent in its second month on the charts; Acquirers, 53.18 percent; Whitford's Volshares, 51.6 percent (up from flat flows); and Swan, 41.44 percent (up from 11.05 percent).

May's apparent newcomers included Palm Valley and Strategic Asset Management.

On the flip side, May was a rough month for WBI, which suffered an estimated $38 million in net outflows, more than any other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm and up from $26 million in April. Other big May sufferers included: Balter, $36 million (up from $3 million); Wintergreen, $31 million (up from $13 million); Mondrian, $30 million (up from $17 million); and Power Mutual Funds, $27 million (down from $43 million).

Proportionately, World Funds Trust suffered the most last month, with estimated net May outflows equivalent to 123.85 percent of its AUM (i.e. its outflows dwarfed the AUM it had left at the end of the month), up from 1.19 percent in April. Other big May sufferers included: Affinity, 60.61 percent (up from 8.16 percent); AlphaOne, 34.25 percent (up from 14.03 percent); Ocean Capital Advisors, 33.12 percent (up from negligible net flows); and Wintergreen, 31.25 percent (up from 9.7 percent).

As a group, the 515 fund firms with less than $1 billion each in fund AUM suffered $121 million in May outflows, equivalent to about 0.14 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 6.57 percent of industry outflows. That's down from $135 million in net April outflows, equivalent to about 0.15 percent of their combined AUM.

Across the whole industry (M* tracks flows from 778 firms), long-term mutual funds and ETFs suffered a combined $1.843 billion in estimated net outflows in May, equivalent to 0.01 percent of industry AUM. That's down from $51.004 billion in net April inflows. Passive funds brought in $96 million in net May inflows, while active funds suffered $1.939 billion in net outflows.

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