LocalShares Files To Offer ETFs—Finally
October 18, 2012
LocalShares, the Nashville, Tenn.-based money management firm that recently put a Nashville-focused equities ETF into registration, this week filed separate paperwork requesting permission to market exchange-traded funds—a reversal of the typical order of the regulatory approval process.
Indeed, the filing of a registration statement before the filing of an “exemptive relief” petition requesting permission to offer ETFs can seem a case of putting the cart before the horse, given that a registration statement can’t ever be declared effective until exemptive relief has been secured by the issuer.
The LocalShares’ exemptive relief petition detailed as the company’s initial fund the same ETF it described in its Sept. 28 filing—namely an equities fund focused on companies based in Nashville. As IndexUniverse ETF Analyst Ana Kostioukova noted in a recent blog, the proposed ETF will have a small- to midcap tilt and have a concentration in financials, consumer staples and especially health care.
Some ETF firms do occasionally file registration statements before they have secured exemptive relief, and industry sources say such an approach is usually designed to speed the overall regulatory process and is predicated on the fund sponsor’s confidence that its efforts to gain the approval to market ETFs is likely to be handled expeditiously by the SEC.
Unfortunately, money management firms can’t comment on outstanding registration statements or pending exemptive relief filings due to the quiet periods required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But we tried calling LocalShares to get a bit of color just the same. Our calls weren’t returned.
Apart from the Nashville ETF, the exemptive relief filing also described plans to possibly issue other ETFs that could focus on a broad range of asset classes, including U.S. and non-U.S. equities and fixed-income securities.
Exemptive relief grants firms exceptions to certain sections of the Investment Company Act of 1940, and filing for it is typically the first step companies must take to earn the right to market ETFs.
It often takes anywhere from six to nine months for a company’s first ETF to come to market after it has filed for exemptive relief.
The LocalShares Nashville ETF will have an annual expense ratio of 0.49 percent, though the company didn’t name a proposed trading symbol in the Sept. 28 registration statement.
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