Russell Investments eliminated speculation late Friday on what it would do with its exchange-traded funds when it announced it would close 25 U.S. ETFs.
Earlier this month, Russell Investments, which manages about $152 billion, told Bloomberg News that it was reviewing its direct U.S. ETF business. The firm, whose direct ETF team works mostly in San Francisco and New York, will cut about 30 jobs between the two offices, Steve Claiborne, a Russell spokesman, told Bloomberg.
Russell said in a press release that it would close 25 passively managed ETFs with $310 million in assets as of July 31. Challenging equity market conditions since the launch of these products prompted the decision, Russell said.
It will, however, continue to operate an actively managed ETF, the Russell Equity ETF, which is benchmarked to the Russell Developed Large Cap Index. The Seattle-based company says it will consider more actively managed, asset-allocated ETFs. In the passive space, it will continue to license its indexes for such ETFs. Russell remains the underlying index provider for many ETFs around the world, which have more than $80 billion in assets under management.
The 25 passively managed ETFs will be closed to new investment on October 9. Shareholders may sell their holdings through
October 16. Russell intends to have liquidated the funds by October 24. The funds being eliminated are:
Russell 1000 High Beta ETF, (HBTA);
Russell 1000 Low Beta ETF, (LBTA);
Russell 1000 High Volatility ETF, (HVOL);
Russell 1000 Low Volatility ETF, (LVOL);
Russell 1000 High Momentum ETF, (HMTM);
Russell 2000 High Beta ETF, (SHBT);
Russell 2000 Low Beta ETF, (SLBT);
Russell 2000 High Volatility ETF, (SHVY);
Russell 2000 Low Volatility ETF, (SLVY);
Russell 2000 High Momentum ETF, (SHMO);
Russell Developed ex-U.S. Low Beta ETF, (XLBT);
Russell Developed ex-U.S. Low Volatility ETF, (XLVO);
Russell Developed ex-U.S. High Momentum ETF, (XHMO);
Russell Aggressive Growth ETF, (AGRG);
Russell Consistent Growth ETF, (CONG);
Russell Contrarian ETF, (CNTR);
Russell Equity Income ETF, (EQIN);
Russell Growth at a Reasonable Price ETF, (GRPC);
Russell Low P/E ETF, (LWPE);
Russell Small Cap Aggressive Growth ETF, (SGGG);
Russell Small Cap Consistent Growth ETF, (SCOG);
Russell Small Cap Contrarian ETF, (SCTR);
Russell Small Cap Low P/E ETF, (SCLP);
Russell High Dividend Yield ETF, (HDIV); and
Russell Small Cap High Dividend Yield ETF, (DIVS).