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Asness Firm Seeks Permission to Develop ETFs

August 23, 2017

AQR Capital Management has applied for exemptive relief with the SEC to launch ETFs, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites reports. But the firm doesn’t have plans to launch any in the near future.

The alts pioneer made two separate filings that don’t go into detail on investment strategy, asset classes nor expenses, the publication reports. The first filing is for building passive ETFs tracking affiliated or licensed indexes. The second filing is for developing active funds that would post portfolio holdings on a daily basis.

AQR also says its ETFs could be used as feeder funds for other products. As of the end of July, AQR had around $36 billion invested in open-end mutual funds, according to Morningstar data cited by Ignites.

Cliff Asness (Getty)

The firm apparently has no plans to roll out any ETFs in the near future and made the filings to merely give it some flexibility. But previous statements from AQR co-founder Cliff Asness may provide a clue to how the firm plans to use the ETFs if it ever rolls them out. In the past, Asness has criticized the practice of timing markets with smart-beta instruments, says Ignites.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Ignites article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.