Janus, the Denver-based firm famous for its mutual funds, joined the growing list of well-established money managers who have chosen to push into the world of exchange-traded funds, with a broad-based filing that seeks permission from regulators to launch a family of active ETFs targeting both equities and bonds in U.S. and non-U.S. markets.
The filing said the funds Janus may launch under the so-called exemptive relief filing include funds-of-funds ETFs, but will not invest in swaps, options and futures, a decision that's likely to move the regulatory approval process along relatively quickly given the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision in March to review actively managed funds and those that include derivatives in their strategies.
The first fund Janus has in the works will cast as wide a net as the filing suggests, with an investment objective integrating long-term growth of capital and current income through equities of companies of any size and fixed-income securities of various maturities and quality from both governments and corporations. It will be able to hold a broad array of U.S. and non-U.S. securities, the filing said.
Janus joins a growing list of reputable firms, such as Legg Mason, Dreyfus and Alliance Bernstein that have built their reputations on actively managed mutual funds and are now expanding into the world of ETFs. The first exchange-traded fund, the SPDR S&P (NYSEArca: SPY) was launched in 1993, and total assets in the industry now exceed $800 billion, with more growth widely considered a given in coming years.
Exemptive relief grants ETF firms exception to sections of the Investment Act of 1940 and are just the first step in the path to launching ETFs. It often takes at least six to 12 months from the date of the initial filing for a company’s first ETF to hit the market.
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