Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, Vanderbilt University and the state capital of Tennessee. And, evidently, enough corporations in the greater metro region to support a stand-alone exchange-traded fund.
Late last month, Nashville-based LocalShares Investment Trust filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a Nashville-focused ETF. The fund would track the LocalShares Nashville Index made up of publicly-traded companies headquartered in the Nashville area.
The proposed fund would be listed on the NYSE Arca exchange. Fund expenses would be capped at 49 basis points until at least May 1, 2014.
LocalShares is in hush-hush mode during the filing period, and their spokesman said they're not at liberty yet to discuss specifics about the index's components.
As per the filing statement, the ETF would normally invest 80% of its total assets in the LocalShares Nashville Index. Companies in the index are based in the seven county Nashville region, and must meet certain requirements including a market capitalization of at least $100 million during the 25 days preceding the initial inclusion date, as well as an average daily volume exceeding 50,000 shares for the preceding three months.
The LocalShares Nashville Index is weighted on such data as earnings, sales, profitability, price and yield. According to the SEC filing, the Nashville ETF would be a multi-cap fund that employs a passive indexing strategy.
The fund's investment advisor is LocalShares Inc. The sub-advisor is Decker Wealth Management LLC in Nashville.
The fund's registration statement highlights several risks, including geographic concentration and healthcare sector risks. The latter stems from the concentration of the healthcare industry in middle Tennessee, and the fund is expected to invest "a relatively large percentage of its assets in the healthcare sector," according to the filing.
The Nashville region is home to four members of the Fortune 500. Three of them--HCA Holdings, Community Health Systems and Vanguard Health Systems--are in the healthcare field. The fourth is discount retailer Dollar General.
Country-specific ETFs are common, but geographic-centric ETFs focused on U.S. cities or states are rare. In 2010, Geary Advisors closed the Texas Large Companies ETF and the Oklahoma ETF after a short run due to insufficient assets.