Faith Investor Services and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors have teamed up to launch a Catholic values exchange-traded fund that might be perfectly timed to participate in the growing appeal of such specialized strategies.
The FIS Knights of Columbus Global Belief ETF (KOCG), which starts trading Wednesday, will be actively managed and invest in companies that align with Catholic values, including a respect for life, respect for human dignity, and the Catholic Church’s stance on war and peace.
“This fund is an example of how Catholics can invest their money in a way that is compatible with their faith and can potentially grow their wealth,” said Anthony Minopoli, president and chief investment officer of Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, which manages nearly $29 billion through various investment vehicles and adheres to investment guidelines set by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Knight of Columbus Asset Advisors is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic fraternal organization founded in 1882 with more than two million members and over $120 billion of life insurance in force.
“The launch of KOCG is a culmination of years of work supported by a commitment to deliver an exceptional faith-based ETF, and I am humbled that the Knights of Columbus has agreed to partner with us,” said Joe Valdman, managing director at Slate Hill Partners, a venture capital and private equity investor that launched Faith Investor Services.
The new ETF is the first product offering from Faith Investor Services, but not the last, according to Chief Executive Mike Skillman.
“We see a real gap in the marketplace between those who want to invest in their core beliefs and the products currently on the market,” he said. “We plan to launch other faith-based products beyond just Catholic values.”
Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual fund and ETF research at CFRA, said the new fund will “join a growing but crowded ETF market where the ability to gather assets quickly using preexisting relationships can be helpful to get products to scale quickly.”
CFRA tracks 10 faith-based ETFs that combine to managed roughly $1.4 billion through the end of June.
The two largest faith-based ETFs are the $574 million Global X S&P 500 Catholic Values ETF (CATH) and the $256 million Inspire 100 ETF (BIBL).
Rosenbluth added that over the past few years, “firms have been expanding their product lineups in hopes of appealing to investors that want to achieve their financial goals consistent with their beliefs.”
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