American Century touts the advantage of active management in the ETF campaign

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American Century Investments wants advisors to know that it is also part of the ETF game and that its proven active approach brings a new way of thinking about product packaging.

The store rolled out its first ETF-specific ad campaign, a series of digital signage ads and a new ETF homepage that calls the market to ‘Unthink ETFs’ and rethink the rules on how products can. generate outperformance for customers.

The campaign focuses on the Kansas City-based manager’s non-transparent active ETFs, which were launched just over a year ago. These ETFs do not disclose their entire portfolio holdings every day. Instead, they use a variety of methods to limit transparency to a portion of the ETF’s holdings on a daily basis and full disclosure on a quarterly basis.

The campaign follows on from the major branding campaign the company launched in July 2020, ahead of its annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship.

This article was previously published by Ignites, a title owned by the FT group.

“We wanted to zoom out and focus on the value proposition of our ETF lineup and focus on the 60 years of active investing that American Century brings to the table,” said Erik Schneberger, Chief Marketing Officer .

American Century has been working to raise awareness of its ETF lineup since entering the market three years ago with a series of smart beta stock index ETFs, said Ed Rosenberg, head of ETF business.

“Even the [index] products, they can have a reasonable active share, ”he noted. The new announcements allow the company to talk about the benefits of active management in combination with the benefits of the ETF vehicle, such as tax efficiency and marketability, he said.

The company had around $ 1.2 billion in ETF assets under management as of April 2020, before launching its first non-transparent active strategies. At the time, the manager was betting that being the first to embrace trending fintech would result in strong sales.

Since then, American Century has more than quadrupled its ETF assets to $ 5.3 billion as of March 31, according to Morningstar Direct. The company’s 20 ETFs generated sales of $ 2.7 billion in the year that ended in March, according to data from the Chicago-based fund tracker.

But growth has been hampered by a lack of access to distribution platforms and, to a lesser extent, awareness, Rosenberg said.

The ad campaign targets financial professionals, Schneberger said. This includes those who understand American Century’s approach to investing but may not be familiar with its ETFs, as well as advisers favoring ETFs who might not know much about American Century’s product line, a he added. The company has not disclosed the exact platforms on which the ads will run.

* Ignites is a news service published by FT Specialist for professionals working in the asset management industry. It covers everything from new product launches to regulations and industry trends. Trials and subscriptions are available at ignites.com.

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