Holistic solution brings rewards for Citi
Citi | Best Overall ETF Administrator | Best ETF Administrator – Equity ETFs - Q&A with Andrew Jamieson, Global Head of ETF Product and Gareth Myburgh, EMEA ETF Product Manager at Citi.
What makes Citi’s ETF Custody platform different to your peers?
Gareth Myburgh: Citi has taken a very different approach to ETF administration and custody than our traditional custodian peers. Utilising our enterprise-wide Markets & Securities Services approach, we are able to craft a truly holistic solution for ETF issuers, both new and established, large or small, and regardless of whether they are focused on active or passive strategies, enveloping them within their own ‘Citi ETF ecosystem’.
Having strong capabilities over the entire ETF lifecycle, and an extensive global footprint, makes Citi an obvious choice to help develop and grow an issuer’s business. In today’s ever competitive ETF landscape, the need to do more than simple asset servicing is increasingly relevant. Coupled with the latest in ETF technology, speed to market and award-winning customer service, Citi is continuing to push the boundaries in what best-in-class ETF servicing looks like.
What trends have you seen over the past year?
Andrew Jamieson: It is clear that interest in ETFs, ambition to build presence within this marketplace, and new entrants to the market itself is not diminishing in the least, and if anything, is accelerating. Perhaps when our business was more nascent, we did not see as many opportunities first-hand, however discussions are ongoing with so many different prospective issuers in all facets of the business, it is genuinely exciting to be at the heart of so many of these conversations.
In the US, there has been a real enthusiasm and curiosity around the ‘Mutual Fund to ETF’ journey, and although there are hurdles over here in Europe in witnessing something similar in the near term, it is certainly serving as a catalyst for the traditional mutual fund manager to consider their future more closely and consider why ETFs ought to be part of that planning.
On the product front, ESG continues to be exceedingly relevant, and more issuers are looking to get suitable products launched to meet new demand particularly in thematic or impact investing. Similarly, interest in fixed income shows no sign of diminishing and continues to grow apace. Incremental advances in the ETF securities lending market and the options space will surely help add further liquidity into the fixed income ETF universe.
Where do you see the ETF industry going in terms of products over the coming year?
Andrew Jamieson: As touched on earlier, we see the market going through very much an ‘evolution’ rather than ‘revolution’ phase in 2022, with the areas of ESG & fixed income at the fore. However, geopolitical risk could affect investor behaviour and appetite significantly, and therefore it is difficult to predict with any certainty the direction of travel from here. What we can say however with a good degree of certainty is that ETFs continue to be a major driving force in allowing everyone – from the individual investor to the most sophisticated professional – execute their preferred investment strategy through these precision products.