Engine No. 1 plans new socially conscious ETF

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Investment firm Engine No. 1, which last week won at least two seats on Exxon Mobil Corp’s board, is planning to launch an exchange-traded fund that will focus on socially conscious investing, according to a regulatory filing.

The portfolio will be called the Engine No. 1 Transform 500 ETF and will invest in the consumer, energy, financial services, healthcare, technologies and utilities sectors, among others, according to a May 28 regulatory filing.

It “seeks to encourage transformational change at the public companies within its portfolio through the application of proxy voting guidelines,” the filing said.

There are no details in the filing on the fees the fund plans to charge, how much money it may try to raise or when the Securities and Exchange Commission may make a decision on approving the planned new offering.

Engine No. 1 recently won two seats on Exxon’s board.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Engine No. 1 was founded late last year with roughly $250 million in assets and made an enormous splash when it announced a $40 million investment in Exxon and plans to force the oil giant to improve its financial performance and focus more on clean energy by adding new directors to the board.

Last week, Exxon shareholders elected at least two of Engine No. 1’s nominees, with the counting not yet complete.

All along, investors expected Engine No. 1 soon to try to raise fresh cash from institutional and retail clients.

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A May 28 filing confirmed that Engine No. 1 plans to launch its Transform 500 ETF.
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Planning for the ETF was set in motion long before last week’s win, according to previous regulatory filings.

The new portfolio will be managed by Molly Landes, who joined Engine No. 1 in March after having worked for BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, since 2011, the filing says.

Investors have plowed trillions into exchange traded funds over the last decade, according to Morningstar, attracted by their lower costs.

Engine No. 1’s planned ETF was first reported by Bloomberg.

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