Firm Launches Four New ETFs

June 9 ( - Grail Advisors has announced the registration of four new actively-managed exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.

The new offerings – RP Growth ETF, RP Focused Large Cap Growth ETF, RP Technology ETF, and RP Financials ETF – represent what the announcement described as “the industry’s first traditional actively-managed ETFs using a single-manager approach.”  

Trading for shares the new ETFs is expected to begin September 1 on the NYSE Arca, Inc.

According to the announcement, the single-manager RiverPark funds will be designed to combine “all the benefits of an ETF structure—lower costs, tax efficiency, transparency of holdings, and intra-day trading—with actively-managed strategies from a veteran asset management team.”

Supporting Roles

New York-based RiverPark Advisors, LLC (RiverPark) will serve as the primary sub-adviser for each of the funds. Wedgewood Partners, Inc., of St. Louis will also serve as sub-adviser to the RP Focused Large Cap Growth ETF.   RiverPark will provide day-to-day portfolio management services to RP Growth ETF, RP Technology ETF, and RP Financials ETF, and, in conjunction with Grail, oversee the day-to-day portfolio management services provided by Wedgewood to RP Focused Large Cap Growth.

According to the announcement, Grail unveiled the market’s first “true, actively-managed equity ETF” last month—the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF—   and says it will follow up this summer with the Grail American Beacon International Equity ETF, the first international ETF of its kind. Those funds were designed to incorporate the traditional investment management approach and a multi-manager format into an active ETF structure, according to the firm.

“One of our goals from the outset was to bring traditional, active fund managers to the ETF marketplace,” said William M. Thomas, CEO of Grail Advisors LLC. “With these four new RiverPark offerings, that day has come, and it’s come a lot sooner than even the most enthusiastic proponent of the ETF structure could have imagined.”

RiverPark was founded in 2006 by Morty Schaja, CFA, who serves as the firm's Chief Executive Officer, and Mitchell Rubin, CFA, who is the Chief Investment Officer. All of RiverPark's principals, including Mr. Schaja, Mr. Rubin, and portfolio manager Conrad van Tienhoven, came to the firm from Baron Funds. RiverPark has assembled a prestigious group of outside advisors to support the senior team in the management of the funds.  

David A. Rolfe, CFA, will be the portfolio manager of RP Focused Large Cap Growth ETF. Mr. Rolfe is the Chief Investment Officer of Wedgewood, and together with Anthony L. Guerrerio, the firm's CEO and founder, has worked on various large-cap growth strategies for the firm since its inception in 1992, according to the announcement.

Each of the funds' managers will have the discretion on a daily basis to choose securities for the ETF's portfolio consistent with the ETF's investment objective. All four of the funds' holdings will be fully disclosed on a daily basis.  

The new funds will represent the latest in what is anticipated to be a series of offerings of the Grail Advisors ETF Trust.   In the press release, Thomas said Grail Advisors is currently in discussions with a number of leading financial institutions and asset managers and expects to launch more customized, actively-managed ETFs this year.