Northern Trust, the Chicago-based bank whose lineup of 13
have gathered $5.37 billion since the first ones came to market
less than two years ago, filed regulatory paperwork to bring to
market a global infrastructure fund, which would make it the fourth
entrant in an increasingly popular space.
The FlexShares Global Infrastructure Index Fund will focus on
domestic as well as international stocks in the infrastructure
space, owning emerging and developed-market securities to create a
diversified portfolio of assets upon which the operation, growth
and development of a community depends.
"Infrastructure assets are defined by the index provider as the
physical structures and networks upon which the operation, growth
and development of a community depends, and include water, sewer,
and energy utilities; transportation, data and communication
networks or facilities; health care facilities, government
accommodations, and other public-service facilities; and shipping,"
the prospectus said.
The biggest of the competing funds is the iShares Global
Infrastructure fund (NYSEArca:IGF) which has $448.5 million in
assets under management, followed by the SPDR S&P Global
Infrastructure Fund (NYSEArca:GII), which has $68.2 million in
assets. Both are organized around the same benchmark, the S&P
Global Infrastructure Index.
An Echo OF GUNR
The proposed Northern Trust infrastructure also recalls the
FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources fund
(NYSEArca:GUNR) in that the new fund also casts a wide net in both
the developing and developed world, including the United
The new fund is also likely to have some duplicative holdings in
the energy sector, which comprise more than a third of GUNR's
The parallels are worth pointing out to the extent that GUNR is
the most successful FlexShares ETF, with an impressive $2.4 billion
in assets after less than two years of trading.
The proposed fund will be listed on the New York Stock
Exchange's electronic trading platform, but doesn't yet have
a ticker or price.
iShares' IGF has an annual expense ratio of 0.48 percent, or $48
for each $10,000 invested, while SSgA's GII costs 0.40 percent a
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