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Active/passive mix in ETFs blurs benefits, says Spencer-Churchill Miller

Spencer-Churchill Miller Private partner Alan Miller says market participants who attempt to offer active fund management within an exchange traded fund risk spoiling the attraction of the investment tool.

At a recent Money Marketing ETF roundtable, Miller said some product innovation was beginning to blur the benefits of ETFs.

He said: “The worst thing is people spoiling the attraction of ETFs by trying to do individual active fund management within them so the whole basis of transparency and knowing what you’re getting has completely disappeared.”

Barclays Global Investors global head of ETF research & implementation strategy Deborah Fuhr said launches of funds of ETFs for clients who want advice on asset allocation were increasingly being considered in the market.

She said: “I came back from doing a nine city roadshow across Asia and a lot of people are looking at launching funds of ETFs because they’re finding it increasingly difficult to find good active managers. They’re looking for multi-asset class strategies where they can get paid for the advice of the asset allocation and then offer this to the retail market.”

Seven Investment Management director Justin Urquhart Stewart said: “This is going to play more to the intermediary market as they find a way of still providing a service but at a reduced cost.”

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