Interview Highlights

TED LUCAS
Head of Systematic Strategies and ETFs
Hartford Funds

Why is today an important day for Hartford Funds and its clients?
It’s an important day. We’re actually gathered here today to recognize the launch of the 5th installment of a series of smart beta ETFs, which is risk-optimized US REITs - RORE.

We think that this strategy complements the strategies that we’ve already launched that cover the global equity opportunity set and provide a new tool for investors and clients of Hartford Funds to access real estate in a risk-first way.


Tell us about Hartford Funds’ ETF platform.
Hartford Funds already has a great line up of high active share strategies for its clients, delivered in mutual fund form.

The idea here is to provide clients of Hartford Funds a wider set of tools to adapt to their portfolios for particular outcome objectives that they have.

The strategic beta ETF, the one that’s launching today, the ones that already exist – again – expand the array of solutions that advisors can access through Hartford Funds.


What is distinctive about Hartford Funds' ETFs?
Hartford Funds ETFs use a multi-factor approach and provide a variety of different solutions pinpointing a multi-factor discipline to cover different markets.

What we believe makes our ETFs unique is that we take a risk-first approach to constructing the strategies themselves.

So not only are we seeking to have enhanced return potential by having risk factors expressed, but also we seek to embody defensive characteristics by having greater diversification on multiple levels in the portfolio.


Can you tell us about the strategy around launching?
I’d love to. Risk-optimized real estate is a strategy that invests in a wide universe of REITs that are available in the U.S. When you’re looking at the market, there are about 150 companies that are investable. But what we typically find in most REIT strategies and REIT capitalization-weighted indexes is high concentration in a handful of individual REITs.

So this strategy seeks to enhance diversification and access the broader opportunity set while at the same time, focus on deploying capital to companies that have a combination of attractive attributes in terms of their valuation, their quality and growth characteristics, and their momentum.

We’re very excited to be at the New York Stock Exchange – it’s a great institution. And of course, being the first ETF launch since we’ve become part of the Hartford Funds family is also very special.


What are your plans for the future in regards to your strategic beta ETF capabilities?
We’re very excited to be part of the Hartford Funds family as of about two months ago…so right now the existing solution set covering all equity markets, as well as real estate, that’s really the departure point to bring those solutions to a wider set of clients.



DAREK WOJNAR
Head of Exchange-Traded Funds
Hartford Funds

Why is today an important day for Hartford Funds and its clients?
This is the first time we’re introducing a new ETF to the marketplace under the Hartford Funds umbrella after being acquired two months ago.

And we’re looking forward to serving clients with a broader set up of investment products.


Tell us about Hartford Funds’ ETF platform.
ETFs in general are transparent and certainly bring to investors many benefits, starting with transparency, cost benefits and tax advantages.

But in particular strategic beta ETFs bring to investors opportunities to participate in growth in an environment that is challenging. And we’re very excited to contribute good solutions to clients.


What is distinctive about Hartford Funds’ ETFs?
Hartford Funds ETFs start with risk as a first consideration, then afterwards we select securities based on valuation characteristics, momentum and quality characteristics.

All of those contribute to a multi-factor design that considers risk, and that’s a very unique, distinct element.


What are your plans for the future in regards to your strategic beta ETF capabilities?
We’re very excited and look forward to the opportunity to serve more clients better. We take the view of ultimately believing that we can design products only when we have in mind the ultimate goal which is the objectives of clients to build their portfolios with risk considerations that they appreciate.

We’re going to focus on that and we’re going to continue serving our clients.