FlexShares Plans Six Dividend ETFs
August 20, 2012
FlexShares, the ETF unit of the Chicago-based bank Northern Trust, filed regulatory paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission putting a total of six dividend-focused equities funds into registration, effectively joining a well-established trend in the exchange-traded fund industry.
The proposed funds, which didn’t come with tickers or expense ratios, are:
Dividend-focused equities funds have become all the rage in the past few years, as investors look for ways to generate income at a time when stock prices have been vulnerable and yields on bonds have been under significant pressure because of the near-zero official rates in place since the market collapse of 2008.
The regulatory paperwork indicated that the index provider on the funds will be Northern Trust Investments Inc.—the first tangible sign that the company is moving forward on its initiative to gain permission from regulators to provide indexes on its own funds. That petition was filed Aug. 16, and hasn’t yet been approved.
The company indicated that companies included in the various underlying indexes will be selected based on expected dividend payment as well as fundamental factors such as profitability, solid management and reliable cash flow.
The nomenclature of the funds speaks to targeted volatility, with the “Quality Dividend” name indicating that volatility of the funds’ holdings will be in line with the index. “Dynamic” and “Defensive” meanwhile suggest that volatility will be above and below each respective index, the filing said.
The filing said that the funds’ primary listings will be on Arca, the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic trading platform.
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