People older than 40 might remember watching "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," the acclaimed television documentary series that ran from 1968 through 1976 and starred the famed French oceanographer and his crew aboard the Calypso. Soon, people will be able to invest in an exchange-traded fund linked to Cousteau's grandson.
In July, AdvisorShares Investments LLC announced it formed a partnership with Philippe Cousteau Jr. to develop the AdvisorShares Global Echo ETF (NYSE Arca:GIVE). AdvisorShares says the fund will be the first multi-manager ETF with an absolute return and sustainable investment mandate.
Bethesda, Md.-based AdvisorShares currently has ten actively-managed ETFs on the market with more than $360 million in assets under management. The company says the Global Echo fund, which filed its registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 15, is one of four actively-managed ETFs in it's pipeline.
Part of the fund's management fee will help finance the Global Echo Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation recently co-founded by Cousteau that's slated to launch later this year. The foundation aims to fund solutions for various social causes ranging from women's and children's issues to environmental protection and social entrepreneurship. The ETF's management fee wasn't specified in the SEC filing.
According to its filing, the fund is designed as a core allocation in investments that might socially and environmentally benefit the planet in areas such as water, clean energy, community development, innovation and other sustainable themes.
Given its broad mandate, the fund might be hard to pin down from a style box perspective. The filing says the fund will invest across various assets classes, including U.S. and foreign equities and fixed income, and may take long and short positions. Additionally, the fund will be agnostic regarding capitalization ranges and investment styles.
"That's a challenge from a distribution perspective because financial advisors look at that [cap sizes and investment styles]," says James Carl, AdvisorShares' vice president of business development. "But we see this as a core holding because it's broadly diversified and designed to do well in any kind of market. And that's how we will position it when we get to the marketing stage."
AdvisorShares will start marketing the product this autumn after it's out of its registration filing period. Carl says the fund's launch date will likely be in this year's fourth quarter or next year's first quarter.
Financials, Not Fish
For Cousteau, 31, this is his first foray into the financial world. His father, Philippe Cousteau Sr., was a noted documentary film maker and Jacques Cousteau's right-hand man before he was killed in a plane accident in 1979, roughly seven months before his son's birth.