Willie Wonka and ESG

Willie Wonka and ESG

What started out as something so promising has quickly turned into a bit of a car crash, it seems. We are now at the stage where firms are actually avoiding using the term ESG altogether.


Wow, how things have changed.


It reminds us a bit like the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where one of the kids eats so much candy that she ends up exploding.

Similarly, so many asset managers jumped on the ESG bandwagon and the green washing became so prevalent, that they ended up in a similar situation to poor Violet.


Opportunism is a human characteristic and that will never change but maybe the next time there can be some adults in the room to better control the kids when they start feasting on the candy.


Fund Launches and Updates




BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched two new ESG-tailored ETFs focused on short-duration EUR and broad-maturity USD corporate bond markets.

The newly launched funds, the BNP Paribas Easy € Corp Bond SRI Fossil Free Ultrashort Duration UCITS ETF (SRIUC) and BNP Paribas Easy USD Corp Bond SRI Fossil Free UCITS ETF (USCBC), are both compliant with Article 8 standards of the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). etfstrategy


HANetf is closing its frontier markets eCommerce ETF due to low assets under management (AUM).

The FMQQ Next Frontier Internet & Ecommerce ESG-S UCITS ETF (FMQQ) will shut on 13 November after amassing $1.5m in assets since its launch in January 2022 with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.86%.

It is the white-label issuer’s fourth ETF closure this year, all due to failing to gather enough assets since launch. etfstream

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Grayscale moves to convert its $5bn aum Ethereum Trust to a Spot ETH ETF. coindesk

VanEck, ProShares, Bitwise all launch futures-based exchange traded funds (ETFs)  on CBOE but trading volume stood at less than $2 million. The VanEck fund has the lowest expense ratio, which stands at 0.66%, compared to 0.85% for the two Bitwise funds and 0.95% for the ProShares ETFs. reuters

Calamos has launched the Calamos Convertible Equity Alternative ETF (NYSE Arca: CVRT) the first product of its kind to provide investors with targeted access to equity-sensitive convertibles in a liquid, transparent, and tax-efficient ETF framework. prnewswire

Morgan Stanley has filed to convert two mutual funds to exchange traded funds, marking its first application to make such a switch since it launched its first ETFs early this year.

The company plans to refashion its $553mn Core Plus Fixed Income Portfolio as the Eaton Vance Total Return Bond ETF and its $188mn Short Duration Municipal Income Portfolio as the Eaton Vance Short Duration Municipal Income ETF, according to disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. FT

JP Morgan Asset Management has introduced a new actively managed ETF on Nasdaq, providing investors with access to an innovation-focused strategy that the firm has managed for over 25 years.

The JP Morgan US Tech Leaders ETF (JTEK US), which comes with an expense ratio of 0.65%, introduces a new investment avenue for those interested in the dynamic world of technology-driven disruption. etfstrategy



A Hong Kong-listed environmental, social and governance-focused exchange-traded fund this week received the largest net injection from a single institutional investor for any ETFs in the market in nearly a decade.

The ChinaAMC HSI ESG ETF pulled in a net HK$6.7 billion (US$855.8 million), boosting its assets more than nine-fold to HK$7.44 billion from just HK$760 million on September 26. ignites

An increasing number of Australian financial advisors are shifting to smart beta exchange-traded funds that provide robust performance and lower costs when compared with active strategies, according to a new survey from VanEck.

Almost two thirds of financial advisors and brokers have replaced active strategies in client portfolios with smart beta products the survey finds. ignites



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This week we speak to Nick Elward, head of ETFs at Natixis in the US. Click here to isten to Nick. 




Investors added $39 billion to U.S.-listed ETFs in September, bringing year-to-date inflows up to $329 billion. If they continue at a similar pace during the fourth quarter, inflows are on track to hit $438 billion in 2023. etf.com

Investors have put a record amount of money into global bond exchange-traded products (ETPs) so far this year, attracted by the highest yields in more than a decade.

More than $235 billion flowed into global fixed income ETPs in the first three quarters of the year, well above the $170 billion seen in the same period in 2022, according to industry data gathered by BlackRock. yahoo

LSEG Lipper reports that promoters in Europe enjoyed estimated net inflows (+EUR9.1 billion) for September 2023, and that assets under management in the European ETF industry decreased over the course of September to EUR1,430.8 billion.

Equity ETFs (+EUR7.0 billion) posted the highest estimated net inflows in the European ETF industry for September. The best-selling Lipper global classification for September was Equity U.S. (+EUR3.9 billion), followed by Equity Global (+EUR2.4 billion) and Bond USD Government (+EUR1.5 billion).

Xtrackers was the best-selling ETF promoter in Europe for September (+EUR2.6 billion), ahead of iShares (+EUR2.2 billion) and Vanguard (+EUR1.8 billion).

The 10 best-selling funds gathered estimated net inflows of EUR5.4 billion for September. The best-selling ETF for September, iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (Acc), enjoyed estimated net inflows of EUR1.2 billion. etfexpress




The ETF industry remains bullish on a Bitcoin Spot ETF approval.

Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck, said he thinks “early in 2024 we’ll probably see a spot product” get the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Whilst Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer of crypto investment firm Bitwise, says that “we’ll see a spot bitcoin ETF this calendar year.” cryptobriefing

The first ETFs launched through Goldman Sachs’ third-party fund platform has listed in the US.

The rollout is the first time a big-name financial institution has helped smaller ETF issuers come to market, marking the latest stage in the development of the fast-growing $10tn ETF industry.

Three actively managed ETFs run by Brandes Investment Partners, a $19.5bn, 50-year-old San Diego-based mutual fund manager listed on the Cboe exchange, covering US Small Cap Value (BSMC), US Value (BUSA) and International equities (BINV).

They are the first fruits of a wider rollout, with GMO, a $61bn value-oriented house co-founded by the veteran investor Jeremy Grantham, and Eagle Capital Management, with $22bn of assets under management, also having filed to launch ETFs via Goldman’s platform. ft


Movers and Shakers


21Shares has appointed Mandy Chiu, as head of financial product development.


ETC Group has hired Chanchal Samadder as product head.


From behind the Desk


Do younger workers feel a sense of entitlement nowadays or are we just getting old?


Very often, we speak to young candidates who are looking for new roles and am often struck by their attitude.


Their level of engagement is usually pretty low and their sense of value often exceeds reality both in terms of what they can offer, but also in terms of what they expect to be paid.


A grad with expectations of $100k base salary is not an unusual occurrence. (we once had a guy turn down such an offer saying it was too low even though he only had 6 months real-time work experience).


It’s great to have confidence in your ability especially at such a young age, but sometimes a bit of humility can have a greater longer-term impact.