AXA IM launches Article 9 ETF pairing

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has announced the launch of an ETF platform, AXA IM ETF, focused on active strategies and responsible investing.

The platform will initially launch with two ETFs, actively aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals and classified as Article 9 funds under the SFDR regulation. Such funds have dual objectives of seeking to deliver long-term financial growth and a positive and measurable impact on the environment.

The first two ETFs launched will focus on climate and biodiversity themes.

In the context of this launch, Brieuc Louchard has joined AXA IM as head of ETF capital markets, joining from Euronext, where he was head of ETF.

Marco Morelli, executive chairman of AXA IM, said: “To meet the changing demands of investors, we must continue to innovate and enhance our investment offering, and through the launch of this new platform, we do this by combining our active investment insight with the flexibility of an ETF.”

“With the support of AXA and leveraging our key strengths, primarily within active management and responsible investing strategies, this platform will complement our existing fund range while answering client demand for ETF structured vehicles and offering them a better trading experience as well as easy access to such strategies, high liquidity, and enhanced transparency due to the nature of these products,” he added.

Recently, several investment managers have launched thematic and ESG-linked ETF ranges. Fidelity launched an Article 8 themes ETF range, while Vanguard opened two “ESG-aware” ETFs to European and North American investors. BlackRock recently expanded its thematic ETF platform with a financial tech offering.

Hans Stoter, global head of AXA IM core, added: “We are observing long-term trends such as blockchain technology, banking disintermediation and the emergence of online brokerage platforms which can transform the way funds are distributed. In that regard, we believe active ETFs will play an important role in the evolution of the asset management industry and we believe we are well placed to embrace such an evolution.”

“Even though ETFs are often viewed as passive investments, historically replicating the portfolio holdings and performance of broad market indices, the ETF market has evolved to now offer a range of non-traditional, custom-built portfolios. Today’s ETF can be actively managed, further expanding investor choice. In that regard, our new ETF range will complement our wide range of mutual funds,” he said.

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