Franklin Templeton has partnered with Italian trading platform Directa to distribute its ETFs to retail investors.

The agreement will give Italian investors access to 19 ETFs with the Franklin LibertyShares range which are listed on the Borsa Italiana.

The ETFs cover a range of actively-managed fixed income ETFs, emerging markets, Paris-aligned climate ETFs and the recently launched Franklin Catholic Principles Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt UCITS ETF (EMVC).

Investors will also be able to access green bonds and ESG through the Franklin Liberty Euro Green Bond UCITS ETF (FLGR), the Franklin LibertyQ Global Equity SRI UCITS ETF (FLXG) and the Franklin Liberty Euro Short Maturity UCITS ETF (FLES).

The issuer said seven out of the 19 ETFs are labelled Article 8 or 9 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

Silvia Anselmi, ETF sales specialist at Franklin Templeton, said: “The collaboration with Directa will help us continue to offer solutions for our retail customers who are looking for competitively priced, diversified portfolios.

“Retail investors are interested in increasingly strategic solutions, and we are glad to be able to make them available on Directa’s platform.”

Directa said investors will not be charged trading costs on transactions over €1000 for the first year of the partnership.

Anselmi continued: “Most investors are aware of ETFs’ lower expense ratios relative to mutual funds. However, it is also important to consider the transaction costs that the broker charges for buying and selling funds, which often vary depending on the size of the investment.”

Elena Motta, general manager of Directa, added: "Thanks to this partnership, a selection of 19 ETFs with very interesting underlying investments will be included in our zero fees offer. Our customers will therefore be able to eliminate purchase fees on these instruments.

"In a scenario where monitoring and controlling costs is increasingly important, it seems vital to facilitate our customers in the conscious management of their savings."

A recent survey by PwC found online platforms are set to become the biggest demand driver for ETFs in Europe over the next three years.

Retail uptake of ETFs currently differs dramatically across Europe, with Germany leading the way due to their ETF savings plan structure.

However, Italy has recently caught the attention of ETF issuers and online platforms due to its healthy number of retail investors.

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