Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo has entered the world of ETFs with the acquisition of a majority stake in Rize ETF.

AssetCo will purchase 63% of the thematic ETF specialist for £16.5m and has committed a further £5.25m to aid in the issuer's growth.

Rize ETF was founded by four former Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and ETF Securities employees – Rahul Bhushan, Stuart Forbes, Anthony Martin and Jason Kennard – in late 2019,

The issuer launched its first two ETFs, Rize Cybersecurity and Data Privacy UCITS ETF (CYBR) and the Rize Medical Cannabis and Life Sciences UCITS ETF (FLWR) in February 2020 before unveiling another two, the Rize Sustainable Future of Food UCITS ETF (FOOD) and the Rize Education Tech and Digital Learning UCITS ETF (LERN), in September of the same year.

The move comes just months after Gilbert (pictured), the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, told ETF Stream at ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped small ETF issuers were an “obvious place to go” for acquisitions.

He admitted one of the biggest mistakes of his tenure at Aberdeen AM was not realising how big and quickly the €1.3trn European ETF industry would grow.

Since Gilbert was appointed AssetCo chairman in March, the firm has already made two investments including boutique fund manager Saracen Fund Managers in May and asset management platform Parmenion.

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