BetaShares heads to NZ


ETF operator BetaShares plans to establish a beach-head in New Zealand with a yet-to-be-appointed local sales manager. Morningstar says the Aussie ETF market could rise another 30 per cent this year.

BetaShares is targeting a broad NZ client base with the potential sales recruit required to liaise with stockbrokers, financial advisers (independent and aligned), iwi, charitable and community funds, discretionary investment management services (DIMS) providers and institutions.

The A$5.2 billion-plus BetaShares funds currently consist of more than 40 ETFs listed on the ASX, covering a wide range of niche and mainstream asset classes.

Late in February the ETF provider inked a deal with global investment firm, Legg Mason, to roll out a series of listed actively-managed products on the ASX. The arrangement kicked off with the Equity Income and Real Income ETFs, mirroring strategies managed by Legg Mason affiliate firm Martin Currie.

BetaShares already offers ETF versions of three AMP Capital active funds covering total return, listed property and global infrastructure assets. The firm also lists some offshore products managed by ETF provider, Wisdom Tree, as well as a raft of exotic asset class funds including gold, agriculture, health and cybersecurity.

The ‘Disclose’ website shows 39 BetaShares products are open to NZ investors under the trans-Tasman mutual recognition agreement.

The firm, founded by Alex Vynokur in 2010, and backed by the South Korean Mirae Asset Gloobal Investments, has competed effectively against larger global players such as Vanguard, BlackRock (iShares) and State Street, to scoop up about 15 per cent of the Australian market: BetaShares is the fourth-largest Australian ETF provider behind those big three.

According to a BetaShares-authored analysis published by research house Morningstar last week, the Australian ETF market could rise to almost A$45 billion this year from a high of A$35.5 billion last November.

In the Morningstar article, Ilan Israelstam, BetaShares head of marketing, says ETFs appear to have particular appeal with the millennial generation.

“Market figures appear to bear out these trends,” Israelstam says. “In Australia last year, 25 per cent of all ETF trades were undertaken by millennials, according to CommSec. Many of our younger clients have told us that one of the key reasons behind this take up may well be the diversification benefits of ETFs, which makes them a great way to get started investing in the sharemarket.”

The NZX-owned SmartShares ETF provider currently manages about $2.2 billion, of which $1.5 billion is sourced from sister business, SuperLife.

Last month, Mirae Asset Management, the Korean-headquartered firm that owns a large stake in BetaShares, bought out US-based robotics and artificial intelligence ETF specialist, Global X.

– Investment News NZ