‘Anti-woke’ asset manager files to launch equity ETFs

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Strive Asset Management launched earlier this year with a focus on fighting so-called ‘stakeholder capitalism’.

Strive Asset Management, a billionaire-backed firm aiming to push against what it perceives to be corporate ‘wokeness’, has filed for its first two ETFs.

On Thursday afternoon the firm filed paperwork 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 latter’s fees would be 0.25%.

The portfolio managers for both funds would be Matt Cole, a  CalPERS veteran now working as Strive’s head of product and investments, 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 firm.

Strive has raised more than $20m as of early May, with early funding from billionaire investors Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman, as well as musician DA Wallach and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.

The firm was founded amid a pushback among American conservatives against large corporations, which historically have found more friends in the GOP than among US liberals. 

‘We want iconic American brands like Disney, Coca-Cola and Exxon, and US 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 the likes of BlackRock.

‘The Big Three asset managers have fueled this polarizing new trend in corporate America, and that’s why we’re going to compete with them head-on to refocus American companies on the shared pursuit of excellence over politics,’ Ramaswamy said.


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