Tag Archives: european etf

Euro ETF firm backed by ex-iShares leader Kranefuss launches first fund

investmentnews logoBelow extract courtesy of Investmentnews.com and Trevor Hunnicutt

An ambitious European ETF firm backed by former iShares leader Lee Kranefuss charged into the U.S. Tuesday, launching its first fund and throwing down the gauntlet to a “stale” industry.

Lee Kranefuss (Bloomberg News Photo)
Lee Kranefuss (Bloomberg News Photo)

The firm, Source, is the seventh largest in Europe’s smaller ETF industry and 23rd globally. As it enters the United States, Source will be competing for assets with an increasingly entrenched group of three providers — iShares (owned by BlackRock Inc.), the Vanguard Group Inc. and State Street Corp. — and dozens of smaller players.

While at iShares before it was acquired by BlackRock in 2009, Mr. Kranefuss, Source’s executive chairman, led the firm’s efforts to popularize the concept of cheaply trading entire markets over exchanges much like a stock, the core concept of the original exchange-traded funds. The industry managed tens of billions in the early 2000s; today, it’s a $2.7 trillion business.

Mr. Kranefuss, who built iShares into a $300 billion business between 2000 and 2009, today calls the industry “rather stale,” arguing a newcomer needs to shake things up. Continue reading

Virtu Financial Buys Dutch Market-Maker in Push to Provide European ETF Liquidity

Courtesy of WSJ with reporting by Jenny Strasburg

Virtu Financial LLC said it bought a Dutch market-making business, bolstering the U.S. trading firm’s presence in a European exchange-traded-funds market that has emerged as a profitable battleground for high-speed traders.

Virtu, one of the most-active traders of stocks, commodities and other securities in the U.S. and Europe, acquired the market-making division from Amsterdam-based Nyenburgh Holding BV, the companies said. They declined to disclose the value of the transaction.

Market makers stand ready to buy and sell securities at quoted prices, helping ensure that trades are executed smoothly. Market makers take a sliver of profit from each transaction, and the flow of data can help them profit in their own trades.

With the Nyenburgh deal, New York-based Virtu gains relationships with ETF issuers as well as buyers and sellers of the instruments, which include pensions and hedge funds, said Chris Concannon, a Virtu partner and chief compliance officer of its broker-dealer operation. Virtu has traded European ETFs since 2009.

Virtu expects growth in the ETF market will help fuel trading in the assets that underlie them, from gold and palladium to agricultural-commodity futures. The firm, through its Dublin-based office, became a registered market maker on the London Stock Exchange in August, and is registering on major European exchanges, said Douglas Cifu, Virtu’s president and chief operating officer.

The deal comes amid mounting competition and regulation in the European market for ETFs, or investment funds that track the performance of indexes and other baskets of individual securities. Unlike in the U.S., the majority of ETF trading in Europe occurs in over-the-counter transactions. But new rules are pushing more ETF trading onto exchanges, providing opportunities for  trading firms like Virtu to grab a bigger share of the market.

Noted James Ryan of London-based ETF broker WallachBeth International, “Virtu’s expanded role as a liquidity provider in European-based ETFs will necessarily enhance the playing field as the ETF market in Europe continues to evolve and otherwise catch up to the US market in terms of both institutional investor transparency and overall liquidity.” Continue reading