Legal & General Asset Management (LGIM) has launched four thematic ETFs becoming the third issuer in a week to launch a metaverse ETF.

The L&G Metaverse ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF (MTVR), the L&G Optical Technology Photonics ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF (LAZG), the L&G Emerging Cyber Security ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF (ESPY) and the L&G Global Thematic ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF (THMZ) are listed on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Deutsche Boerse and Six Exchange.

LAZG and ESPY have total expense ratios (TERs) of 0.49% while MTVR and THMZ had TERs of 0.39% and 0.60%, respectively.

Three of the ETFs, the optical technology photonics, cybersecurity and global thematics will sit inside LGIMS’s flagship thematic range.

The metaverse ETF will be part of the newly-created ‘Access’ range, where the ETFs will be designed to be used as a tactical strategic tool for investors seeking access to “non-traditional investment opportunities”.

MTVR tracks the iStoxx Access Metaverse index which will target companies involved in hardware provision, software advances, networks and digital payments to “augment human policing of the metaverse”.

Meanwhile, LAZG, the first ETF in Europe to track the theme, will follow the Solactive EPIC Optical Technology and Photonics index and invest in companies involved in the science of creating, manipulating, transmitting and detecting light. The index leverages the expertise of the European Photonics Industry Commission (EPIC).

ESPY tracks the Solactive Emerging Cyber Security index, focusing on the innovation and evolution that looks to complement the LGIM Cyber Security UCITS ETF (HURN) that launched in 2015 and has amassed $2.5bn assets under management (AUM).

It will focus on emerging segments of the market including hardware security, threat intelligence and blockchain-enabled security solutions.

THMZ will track the Solactive Global L&G Thematic Lookthrough index investing in multiple themes with a focus on innovation and long-term growth. It will combine the group’s existing investment strategies, bringing together nine megatrends in areas including technology, energy and resources and changing demographics.

Aanand Venkatramanan (pictured), head of ETFs EMEA at LGIM, said: “Thematic investment strategies have seen strong investor interest over recent years, thanks to their ability to capitalise on structural and foundational changes in the way we live and work.

“Three of the funds launched today capture some of the most innovative and disruptive companies shaping global economies, while the Global Thematic fund will seek to allow investors to gain exposure to multiple themes, in an easily accessible format.”

The four ETFs are the first launches for LGIM this year, with the UK asset manager focusing on switching its existing strategies to become ESG compliant.

It has been a big week for thematic ETFs, after Fidelity International launched five thematic ETFs earlier this week including the Fidelity Metaverse UCITS ETF (FMTV). 

Franklin Templeton also joined the metaverse ETF race today with the launch of the Franklin Metaverse UCITS ETF (FLRA). 

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