‘Anti-awakening’ asset managers drop equity ETFs

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Strive Asset Management, a billionaire-backed firm aiming to fight what it perceives as the corporate “wake-up call”, has filed its first two ETFs.

The company filed documents Thursday afternoon for the Strive US Technology ETF and the Strive Emerging Markets Ex-China ETF, both of which aim to launch later this year. The former would have an expense ratio of 0.41% and the charges for the latter would be 0.25%.

The portfolio managers of the two funds would be Matt Cole, a CalPERS veteran who currently works as a product and investment manager at Strive, as well as Brandon Koepke and Richard Shaner, according to the filing.

The Columbus, Ohio-based asset manager is led by Vivek Ramaswamy, the former CEO of Roivant Sciences, a biotech company.

Strive raised more than $20 million in early May, thanks to early stage funding from billionaire investors Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman, as well as musician DA Wallach and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.

The company was founded amid a pushback by American conservatives against big business, which has historically found more friends in the GOP than among American liberals.

“We want iconic American brands like Disney, Coca-Cola and Exxon, and American tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google to deliver high-quality products that improve our lives, not controversial political ideologies that divide us,” Ramaswamy said in a statement last month, explicitly positioning Strive against BlackRock.

“The Big Three asset managers have fueled this polarizing new trend in American business, and that is why we will compete head-on with them to refocus American business on the common pursuit of excellence rather than politics,” Ramaswamy said.

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