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Macquarie expands ETF range in Australia

By Rhea Nath
3 minute read

It has unveiled two new offerings on the ASX, having debuted its initial actively managed ETFs on the exchange late last year.

Macquarie Asset Management has launched two new systematic active ETFs, designed to provide exposure to an active equity strategy with a fee structure aligned to performance.

The ETFs will feature competitive management fees, along with a performance fee which only applies when the performance of the active ETF exceeds the index.

The Macquarie Core Australian Equity Active ETF (ASX:MQAE) will offer access to a portfolio of around 200 ASX shares in a single trade, with performance fees of 0.03 per cent per annum and 20 per cent of outperformance of the benchmark.

Similarly, the Macquarie Core Global Equity Active ETF (ASX:MQEG) comprises around 400–500 systematically selected global shares in a single trade, with performance fees of 0.08 per cent per annum and 20 per cent of outperformance of the benchmark.

According to the firm, the new range of core active ETFs come amid growing demand for “institutional quality portfolio building blocks” and will assist investors in accessing leading systematic investment capabilities via the ASX.

“Our aim with these new ETFs is to build a stable, more risk aware and balanced fund portfolio with significantly reduced impact from human bias,” said Scot Thompson, co-head of Macquarie Systematic Investments, noting that systematic investing provides the opportunity for a view on every company in an investible universe.

Benjamin Leung, co-head of Macquarie Systematic Investments, explained further on the investment philosophy behind the ETFs.

“We’re very conscious of how many stocks we hold, what their weights are, and what the outcome might be from a risk and exposure point of view,” he said.

“We have built a naturally adaptive mechanism so it can adjust to opportunities and risks as they emerge.”

The ETFs join Macquarie’s existing range of actively managed ETFs in Australia, with the first tranche launched in November last year. The funds provide access to opportunities in global fixed income and equity markets through the Macquarie Dynamic Bond Active ETF (MQDB), the Macquarie Income Opportunities Active ETF (MQIO), and the Macquarie Walter Scott Global Equity Active ETF (MQWS).

At the time, Blair Hannon, Macquarie AM ETF investment strategist, had flagged the asset manager’s ambitions to further grow its ETF offerings through the course of 2024.

Commenting on the two new funds launched on the ASX, he believed they can work well as long-term core portfolio allocations.

“There’s still a role for passive investing at the core, but systematic active ETFs provide investors with the potential for better returns,” Hannon said.

“This is because we don’t just follow an index, we start with it, and add a systematic process that seeks to enhance returns over index performance.”

As of April 2024, the Australian ETF industry stands at some $195 billion in funds under management.

Over the last 12 months, the industry has grown by 33.5 per cent or $49 billion.