WisdomTree Distribution Leader Talks Advisors, Tokenization, ETFs

WisdomTree’s Head of Distribution, Americas, Joe Grogan, sat down with VettaFi to discuss the firm’s message to advisors, its digital assets and tokenization capabilities, model portfolios, and more at the recent ETF Exchange conference. Grogan, who has served in his current role for more than eight years, also spokeabout the firm’s outlook on some of its key ETFs and on potential product development.

WisdomTree's Grogan on Advisors

Grogan shared that the firm’s primary message and approach to advisors is about balance. In managing that relationship, the firm looks to balance what WisdomTree would like to talk about with what the advisor might be looking for.

“We don't want to talk over the advisor; we want to meet the advisor [about] what's really concerning them now, and what they want to do, what they need to do,” he said.

Asked about models, Grogan emphasized a focus on customization in their suite, also sharing that the firm is looking at leveraging its AI capabilities for models. The firm is “constantly hearing” about portfolio optimization from clients, as well as mitigating risk. The firm looks to serve those goals in a kind of “shared CIO” approach as well as via its models and how that relationship works.

“Everybody has their own unique sets of demands and needs and risk profiles [so] we have to make sure we're catering to their needs,” he said. “We believe in customization. That's really where you're seeing 90% of the growth.”

Digital Assets and AI

WisdomTree has emphasized tokenization in its firm infrastructure. The asset manager launched WisdomTree Prime last year, a blockchain-enabled financial app. That comes as part of the firm’s efforts to mainstream the blockchain and its role in investing. The company also offers a suite of digital funds available on Prime as well as a recent spot bitcoin fund, the WisdomTree Bitcoin Fund (BTCW).

“We have a resident app, where people can actually do one-stop banking, investing everything in the app,” Grogan said. “We can tokenize just about any asset class that out there.”

“We're in discussions with several different firms [about] how we can make this a backbone of their offering," he added. “If you think about it, everybody has a cellphone, and everybody is starting to operate on those cellphones. So how do we help them do that?"

Bitcoin and the ETF Suite

As for the firm’s bitcoin fund, Grogan reminded advisors to be honest with themselves about the volatility in crypto funds. Noting that caution is merited, he suggested that everyone should have some exposure to bitcoin as an up-and-coming asset class.

See more: WisdomTree Launches 2 Quality Growth ETFs

Looking ahead, the firm plans to come out with “several” new funds this year. Per Grogan, the issuer emerged from unique and relevant to conversations he and his distribution teams have had with advisors. As for its current ETFs, investors may want to take a look at both the WisdomTree Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Fund (WTAI) and the WisdomTree U.S. Quality Growth Fund (QGRW) as ones to watch, per Grogan’s comments.

“’Joe, we're trying to go after the S&P 500,’” Grogan said as an example of an advisor conversation on QGRW. “’We want to outmuscle its growth. Do you have something that really attacks that?’ QGRW is our answer.”

For more news, information, and analysis, visit the Modern Alpha Channel.

Read more on ETFTrends.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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