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    The global ETF market is now holds almost $5tn of assets under management, with Europe playing an increasingly central role.
Now worth $800bn, it grew at 40% last year alone, setting yet another record in terms of AUM growth. PWC forecasts that European ETF assets will double in the next 5 years, while HANetf expects it to grow to $2trn - spread across 4,000 products - in the next 10-15 years.
We also believe that the ETF wrapper will eventually replace the mutual fund wrapper, and in 15 years time all new funds will be ETFs, with the exception of illiquid assets such as private equity or property.
The sector faces challenges however. There remains, for example, a perceived barrier to entry to certain markets which we believe stymies much of the creativity which
is waiting to emerge in the sector around the following areas:
• Thematic strategies e.g. Tech, ESG etc.
• Active – no index tracking but managers making
investment decisions
• Smart beta – index strategies that replicate active
strategies – e.g. factor investing, equity income etc.
There is also a barrier in terms of asset managers having the confidence to enter the market with their existing strategies, for fear of either losing out to established giants in the ETF space, or else cannibalising their own range of products.
That is why HANetf exists; Europe’s first full service white label ETF provider, works with leading asset managers around the globe to bring their expertise and track records in fund management, and enable them to utilise that within ETF fund structures, without having to launch standalone ETF businesses.
With a model that is more prevalent in the US market, HANetf is there to provide a white label ETF service which enables asset managers to save millions in costs but still enter one of the fastest growing marketplaces in the investment universe.
The vast expertise the team at HANetf can call upon means that asset managers wanting to enter Europe can do so within just 12 weeks if the strategy in question meets all the UCITS requirements, something which most asset managers would find very hard to replicate on their own.
White label ETF providers in Europe are a hugely disrupting theme for the market. It massively reduces the barriers to entry for asset managers who want to add ETFs to their armoury, as previously - given the sheer scale of the dominant players such as Blackrock/ iShares, State Street, Vanguard and so on - most asset managers would avoid going head to head.
Opening up the European ETF market to asset managers should offer opportunities to two major types of companies; ETF issuers who are based outside of Europe, particularly Asia and North America, and more traditional European mutual fund managers.
While the industry is new in Europe, there are nonetheless a number of strategies already available which are utilising this approach.
They include the EMQQ Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce UCITS ETF, HAN-GINS Cloud Technology UCITS ETF, HAN-GINS Innovative Technology UCITS ETF.
Many more products are going to be interested in using the white-label approach, and going forward we see this as a major area of flows for the wider ETF industry as asset managers consider new ways to market and sell their core strategies.
         DIY Investor Magazine | Dec 2018 30

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