Rigor and discipline are key to innovative active ETF

In an interview with the New York Stock Exchange, PM Scott Weber explains the disciplined process behind the innovative Natixis Vaughan Nelson Select ETF (VNSE).

At the first anniversary of one of the first-to-market semi-transparent ETFs, the Natixis Vaughan Nelson Select ETF (VNSE), Senior Portfolio Manager Scott Weber sits down with the New York Stock Exchange. Here are highlights of the interview:

  • Weber emphasizes Vaughan Nelson Investment Management’s philosophy: focus on clients’ financial wellbeing in aiming to compound capital at an attractive rate rather than simply looking to beat an index.
  • Integrating fundamental and factor analysis at a security level, not at a broader level, seeks to provide a comprehensive view of inherent risks.
  • The team’s process is designed to provide them with a clear and objective view of the macro and fundamental factors for the business strategy at the security level – seeking large-cap high return businesses, with risks comparable to the respective index, yet lower earnings variability.
  • The investment approach behind VNSE is based on a process that Vaughan Nelson’s investment team has consistently applied to their institutional strategies for more than twelve years, and Vaughan Nelson Select Fund for nine years.
  • Particularly during times of market volatility, Weber believes the star of this investment process is not any single position or team member, but rather, adhering to the rigor and discipline of the investment approach. Simply put, process is paramount.
Before investing, consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Visit im.natixis.com or call 800-225-5478 for a prospectus or a summary prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Active Share: Active share indicates the proportion of a portfolio's holdings that are different from the benchmark. A higher active share indicates a larger difference between the benchmark and the portfolio.

Beta: Beta is calculated for the three-year period and represents the risk associated with the fund relative to market risks. For example, the market has a beta of 1.00, so if a fund has a beta of 0.85, it can be expected to be 15% less volatile than the overall market. Conversely, if a fund has a beta of 1.08, it can be expected to be 8% more volatile than the overall market.

Factors: A macroeconomic factor includes but is not limited to, fiscal, natural, or geopolitical events that broadly affects a regional or national economy and may be evaluated as part of an investment process and portfolio construction.

SPAC: A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a publicly traded company created for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company.

ETF General Risk: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, and will fluctuate in market value. Unlike mutual funds, ETF shares are not individually redeemable directly with the Fund, and are bought and sold on the secondary market at market price, which may be higher or lower than the ETF's net asset value (NAV). Transactions in shares of ETFs will result in brokerage commissions, which will reduce returns.

Active ETF: Unlike typical exchange-traded funds, there are no indexes that the Fund attempts to track or replicate. Thus, the ability of the Fund to achieve its objectives will depend on the effectiveness of the portfolio manager. There is no assurance that the investment process will consistently lead to successful investing.

Equity Securities Risk: Equity securities are volatile and can decline significantly in response to broad market and economic conditions.

Non-Diversified Risk: Non-diversified funds invest a greater portion of assets in fewer securities and therefore may be more vulnerable to adverse changes in the market.

Value Investing Risk: Value investing carries the risk that a security can continue to be undervalued by the market for long periods of time.

Predatory Trading Practices Risk: Although the Fund seeks to benefit from keeping its portfolio holdings information secret, market participants may attempt to use the Proxy Portfolio and related Proxy Portfolio Disclosures to identify the Fund’s holdings and trading strategy. If successful, this could result in such market participants engaging in predatory trading practices that could harm the Fund and its shareholders.

Proxy Portfolio Structure Risk: Unlike traditional ETFs that provide daily disclosure of their portfolio holdings, the Fund does not disclose the daily holdings of the Actual Portfolio. Instead, the Fund discloses a Proxy Portfolio that is designed to reflect the economic exposure and risk characteristics of the Fund’s Actual Portfolio on any given trading day. Although the Proxy Portfolio and Proxy Portfolio Disclosures are intended to provide Authorized Participants and other market participants with enough information to allow them to engage in effective arbitrage transactions that will keep the market price of the Fund’s shares trading at or close to the underlying NAV per share of the Fund, while at the same time enabling them to establish cost-effective hedging strategies to reduce risk, there is a risk that market prices will vary significantly from the underlying NAV of the Fund.

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk: Only an authorized participant (“Authorized Participant”) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants, none of which are or will be obligated to engage in creation or redemption transactions. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. The Fund’s novel structure may affect the number of entities willing to act as Authorized Participants, and this risk may be exacerbated during times of market stress.

Trading Issues Risk: Trading in Fund shares on the NYSE Arca may be halted in certain circumstances. If 10% or more of the Fund’s Actual Portfolio does not have readily available market quotations, the Fund will promptly request that the NYSE Arca halt trading in the Fund’s shares. Such trading halts may have a greater impact on the Fund compared to other ETFs due to its lack of transparency.

Premium/Discount Risk: The market value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate, in some cases materially, in response to changes in the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings, and the relative supply and demand for the Fund’s shares on the exchange. There is a risk (which may increase during periods of market disruption or volatility) that market prices for Fund shares will vary significantly from the Fund’s NAV. This risk may be greater for the Fund than for traditional ETFs that disclose their full portfolio holdings on a daily basis because the publication of the Proxy Portfolio does not provide the same level of transparency as the publication of the full portfolio by a fully transparent active ETF.

ALPS Distributors, Inc. is the distributor for the Natixis Loomis Sayles Short Duration Income ETF, the Natixis Vaughan Nelson Mid Cap ETF, the Natixis Vaughan Nelson Select ETF, and the Natixis U.S. Equity Opportunities ETF. Natixis Distribution, LLC is a marketing agent. ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Natixis Distribution, LLC.