Targeted Musings on Financial Marketing

The Semi-Transparent ETF Ecosystem

28 Sep 2020

When Arro first put together the original ETF ecosystem guide in 2016, the only ETFs available, whether actively or passively managed, were transparent. While transparency has often been hailed as a hallmark feature of the ETF structure, ensuring that investors know an ETF’s precise holdings and weightings, for some money managers, this transparency comes at the real cost of divulging their proprietary strategies.

Enter semi-transparent ETFs. The SEC has recently approved a number of semi-transparent models—by our count, half a dozen—that seek to shield their underlying holdings from public view, including:


  • Shielded Alpha by Blue Tractor
  • ClearHedge by Eaton Vance
  • Tracking Basket by Fidelity
  • Proxy Portfolio by the New York Stock Exchange/Natixis
  • ActiveShares by Precidian
  • Proxy Portfolio by T. Rowe Price

Since each new model takes a slightly different approach to semi-transparent ETFs, we thought it would make the most sense to update the original ETF ecosystem with a whole new section diving into what makes each semi-transparent model tick. To make sure we nailed the details, we partnered up with ETF ecosystem experts and compliance gurus Foreside.

The result is an updated, comprehensive guide to the transparent and semi-transparent ETF ecosystems, with updated maps, glossaries and keys. Download the Semi-Transparent ETF Ecosystem Guide.






We’re so excited to share this new-and-improved ETF ecosystem with the world. You can download it here.