The guest on this episode of the "Behind the Ticker" podcast was Matt Barry, head of product management and ETF capital markets at Touchstone Investments. Touchstone is a $25 billion mutual fund manager that has historically focused on active management strategies. As Matt explained, Touchstone aims to beat benchmarks by looking meaningfully different than the benchmarks, using high conviction best ideas from 15 different subadvisors across various strategies.
Seeing the continued growth in active ETFs, Touchstone has been building out an ETF platform over the last few years. They launched their first four active ETFs around a year and a half ago. Matt discussed how investor demand is driving the growth due to the structural benefits ETFs offer like tax efficiency, liquidity, and transparency while also providing exposure to active management strategies. Regulatory changes have also made it easier for active managers to launch ETFs.
Matt highlighted a few of Touchstone's newer active ETF strategies including HEAT, their climate transition fund, which is managed by Swiss firm Lombard Odier and invests in companies benefiting from the transition to a cleaner economy. Their ultra short income (TUC) and securitized income (TSEC) ETFs focus on securitized fixed income assets and are managed by the experienced structured credit team at Fort Washington. TSEC aims for a higher yield with the ability to allocate to some non-investment grade securitized debt.
In terms of distribution, Matt explained how Touchstone is leveraging their existing mutual fund distribution network and relationships with advisors. However, they have also worked on developing internal ETF expertise to ensure their wholesalers are fluent in discussing the ETF structure and considerations when speaking with advisors.
To learn more about Touchstone Investments please visit touchstoneinvestments.com
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