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WBI Investments Launches 10 ETFs, Attracts $1 Billion-Plus in Assets

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WBI Investments, a Red Bank, New Jersey-based money manager specializing in private client wealth management, rang the opening bell on Sept. 10 at the New York Stock Exchange as it celebrated the launched of its 10 WBI Shares actively managed exchange-traded funds on NYSE Arca. 

Don Schreiber Jr., founder and CEO of WBI, said in an interview that the active ETF space “is really the next frontier for growth for ETFs.” Schrieber said that ”we’re also unconstrained. We’re not trying to replicate an index and we are looking to develop an optimal blend of down-market loss protection” while also capturing “up market return.”

Schreiber said that with its 10 new ETFs “we increased the amount of available product in the active channel by 10%.” Schreiber also reported that since the August 27 launch of the WBI Shares ETFs, they had attracted “in excess of $1 billion” in assets.     

According to the Investment Company Institute, there were 19 actively managed funds launched in 2013, bringing the total number to 61 with slightly more than $14 billion in net assets as of year-end 2013. Major investment firms such as PIMCO and BlackRock have added to that number in 2014, but actively managed ETFs still account for only a small percentage of overall ETF assets. In a separate interview, Shawn McNinch of Brown Brothers Harriman said that the “last numbers I’d seen” on actively managed ETFs’ assets was $17 billion.

Eight of the 10 new ETFs are equity funds in the large-cap or SMID-cap space designed to provid yield, growth and value from “reputable companies with strong financials, revenue and earnings potential,” according to WBI. The remaining  two ETFs are tactically managed fixed income funds. All are rebalanced daily and feature “complete transparency,” according to a WBI statement.

“Most people today are buying and selling ETFs as a way to establish exposure” to certain slices of the market “on a short-term basis,” said Schreiber, while WBI’s intent is to provide “low-volatility and low-correlation” portfolios to deliver “absolute risk-managed returns.”

WBI Investments was founded in 1984 and has been managing money the same way since 1992, according to Matt Schreiber, Don Schreiber’s son and president of WBI. “One of the things that hasn’t changed is how we manage money,” he said, “so the exact buy-and-sell risk management protocol and the risk management system that we use” in WBI’s established separately managed accounts and mutual funds are used in the new ETFs.

“We’ve always taken an active, risk-managed approach to investing; trying to protect capital first and foremost and then take advantage of opportunities globally“ as they arise, said Matt Schreiber.

The new WBI Shares ETFs are:

  • WBI SMID Tactical Growth Shares (WBIA)
  • WBI SMID Tactical Value Shares (WBIB)
  • WBI SMID Tactical Yield Shares (WBIC)
  • WBI SMID Tactical Select Shares (WBID)  
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Growth Shares (WBIE)
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Value Shares (WBIF)
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Yield Shares (WBIG)
  • WBI Large Cap Tactical Select Shares (WBIL)
  • WBI Tactical Income Shares (WBII)
  • WBI Tactical High Income Shares (WBIH).


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