Northern Trust officially returned to the ETF market today with the launch of four “FlexShares” funds, almost three years after it shelved an earlier family of ETFs. It rolled out two ETFs focused on equities and two focused on Treasury-protected inflation securities (TIPs).
The four funds and their characteristics are:
- FlexShares Morningstar U.S. Market Factor Tilt Index Fund (NYSEArca: TILT), which will have a small-cap and value tilt while replicating a Morningstar index that assigns more weight to small-cap and value stocks than would a traditional cap-weighted methodology.
- FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index Fund (NYSEArca: GUNR), which will include firms in both the emerging and developed markets that are involved in the ownership, management or production of resources such as energy, agriculture, precious and industrial metals, timber and water.
- FlexShares iBoxx 3-Year Target Duration TIPS Index Fund (NYSEArca: TDTT), which will have a targeted duration of three years and track an iBoxx index.
- FlexShares iBoxx 5-Year Target Duration TIPS Index Fund (NYSEArca: TDTF), which will have a targeted duration of five years.
The new ETFs come with net annual expense ratios of 0.27 percent for TILT; 0.48 percent for GUNR; and 0.20 percent for both TDTT and TDTF, the company said on its website.
Northern Trust shut down its ETF operations consisting of 17 funds in early 2009 in the wake of the 2008 market crash, only nine months after their launch. The first Northern Trust funds had gathered about $33 million at the time of their shuttering.
The company subsequently filed paperwork to re-enter the world of ETFs about a year ago, outlining plans to market index funds. It later outlined plans to market active ETFs as well.