Avantis, a newly formed subsidiary of mutual fund provider American Century, is attempting to bring Dimensional Fund Advisor-style quant strategies to its new ETF line. The group's newly hired CIO, Eduardo Repetto, is the former boss of DFA and has been charged with running the funds investment strategies.
The first ETF Avantis is listing, due to begin trading later this month, is an actively managed small cap value emerging markets ETF, the Avantis Emerging Markets Equity ETF (AVEM).
AVEM will try to outperform the MSCI Emerging Market IMI Index. To do this, it will invest in highly profitable value small caps from emerging markets. Value will be assessed by a composite of value metrics, including price-to-book and price-to-cash-flow. While profitability will be judged on operating profits. Beyond that, being actively managed the fund doesn't give away too much.
The fund charges 0.33%, which is very cheap for its offering and far cheaper than anything DFA offers.
While DFA doesn't offer ETFs as such it does have a partnership with John Hancock, which offers some DFA-labelled ETFs.