Shundrawn Thomas, head of Northern Trust's exchange-traded funds group

FlexShares launches suite of dividend-focused equity funds

FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds, sponsored and managed by Northern Trust, has launched dividend-focused equity index funds to help investors achieve their income needs while still participating in capital growth through the equity market.

The exchange-traded funds – the Quality Dividend Index Fund, Quality Dividend Defensive Index Fund and the Quality Dividend Dynamic Index Fund – seek to deliver a portfolio of stocks that emphasise long-term capital growth and income. They invest in quality companies that provide dividend income while controlling for market risk.

The ETFs employ Northern Trust’s proprietary Dividend Quality Score, used for many years in separately managed accounts. They also seek to replicate Northern Trust's 1250 index, but target different levels of market volatility or beta. They include:

• FlexShares Quality Dividend Index Fund (QDF), which seeks to deliver a beta similar to that of the market, while mitigating sector, industry, and security concentration risks.

• FlexShares Quality Dividend Dynamic Index Fund (QDYN), which seeks to deliver a beta greater than the market, while mitigating sector, industry, and security concentration risks.

• FlexShares Quality Dividend Defensive Index Fund (QDEF), which strives to deliver a beta less than the market, while mitigating sector, industry, and security concentration risks.

“Our research shows that a high-quality, yield-focused equity position can potentially act as a return stabiliser for a broader portfolio, mitigate risk in volatile markets and provide higher dividend growth,” says Shundrawn Thomas (pictured), head of Northern Trust's exchange-traded funds group. “The new equity funds are designed to outperform in a variety of market environments, including upward- and downward-trending markets.”

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