FlexShares enjoys support of NTAM’s quant and ESG strengths
Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM) has USD1.5 trillion in assets across the world, including its wholly owned ETF subsidiary, FlexShares, which at 10 years old has more than USD19 billion in assets.
Darek Wojnar (pictured), Head of Funds and Managed Accounts for NTAM says: “Those assets are entrusted to us by clients who value our expertise and experience across a range of sectors, both in the US and international markets.
“NTAM is widely recognised and known for its quantitative investments, as well as sustainable investing or ESG strategies, many of which we’ve been managing for decades.”
The firm has USD139 billion dollars in sustainable investments, which is, as Wojnar phrases it: “A meaningful number.”
The firm won in both the international and ESG equity ETF issuer categories and for Wojnar this is because their ETF business brings the investment expertise of NTAM.
“Many of the portfolios we deliver are outcome oriented, managing the everlasting investment challenges such as management of risk or generation of income,” he says. “This includes a number of funds focused on international markets.”
In terms of ESG-based investments, Wojnar says that there are multiple dimensions to this.
“We have more than a five-year track record in the space, so investors can evaluate how key performance indicators have impacted these portfolios.”
The firm launched its NTAM ESG Vector Score earlier this year, a proprietary analysis across equities and fixed income that assesses relevant and financially material ESG related criteria that could impact the operating performance of a company.
“This provides investors with a unique opportunity to hold portfolios of companies with consistently enhanced ESG and carbon rating profiles, while maintaining core equity and fixed-income exposures that minimize tracking error vs. their respective universes,” Wojnar says.
While ESG clearly dominates ETF trends, at the moment, Wojnar also notes that for many investors fixed income has a lot of elements that are interesting and potentially very valuable to them.
“Our quantitative tools in the fixed income arena have been well accepted by investors,” Wojnar says. “Fixed income offerings are constructed with additional quantitative elements that are very much in vogue. In everything we do, we focus on investors being able to better achieve their objectives over time.
“We appreciate that many of our competitors’ products are useful, and we welcome this judgement from our peers - together, we all help investors achieve their objectives over time.”
Best ESG Equity ETF Issuer ($100M-$1BN)
Best International Equity ETF Issuer ($100M-$1BN)