Hector McNeil, the founder of new ETF white-label provider HANetf, said the over-subscription to the company’s recently completed seed funding round is confirmation of the latent demand for new entrants in the ETF space.
HANetf was launched in August as an independent provider of turnkey ETF services by McNeil and partner Nik Bienkowksi, both previously involved with ETF Securities and Boost.
McNeil told ETF Stream that HANetf was the answer to the dearth of options for new entrants in the market in Europe.
“Many of the traditional asset managers need help or existing footprint to set up a coherent entry point,” he said. “With ETF Securities, Canvas and Source out of the way there are no third-party full service UCITS ETF platforms out there.”
ETF Securities was sold last week in two parcels with Wisdom Tree picking up the commodities product business while L&G in the UK snapped up the remaining equities business. Source was previously bought by Invesco Powershares earlier this year.
McNeil agreed that the consolidation process was effectively kick-starting a countervailing process of new providers bubbling up lower down the ladder.
“HANetf is the first of these,” he said. “I also think we will spawn many more. If you look at the US many new issuers are one-to-five product launches and many are through the US white labellers. We hope over time companies like HANetf will massively lower the barriers to entry.”
He added, though, that traditional asset managers would also be looking for a “coherent” entry point to the ETF market and that this provide a further rush of new entries into the market.
“I think you will get a mixture,” he said. “Some will want to do it themselves but a lot will struggle to get immediate traction. There will be on a huge learning curve and will need time to figure out the right operating models. Distribution is the major area most struggle to crack.”
Key investors in HANetf include Peter Thompson, the co-founder of Source ETF, the early-stage venture capital fund Point72 Ventures and the European multi-family office Elkstone. The company said the funding would enable the company to build its platform and help go towards client acquisition and marketing.