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Fidelity to expand ETF offerings with new smart beta lineup

(Bloomberg) — Fidelity Investments is expanding its ETFs business by introducing its first so-called smart beta offerings.

The firm expects to start trading six smart beta ETFs on Sept. 15 that rely on factors such as low volatility, dividends and momentum, Boston-based Fidelity said Thursday in a statement. The ETFs will track indexes developed by the firm that draw on the expertise of its quantitative-research team.

"For nearly a decade, Fidelity’s quantitative-research team has been working collaboratively with our portfolio managers and fundamental analysts to develop factor models that incorporate what we believe are the best stock drivers from both fundamental and quantitative perspectives," Joe DeSantis, chief investment officer in Fidelity’s Equity division, said in the statement. "We are now making this expertise available directly to our customers."

Fidelity, best known for its stock-picking, adopted ETFs relatively late in the game after rivals including BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard Group attracted billions of dollars to the products. It joins a number of others pushing into smart beta for the first time, including Goldman Sachs Group’s asset-management business, Franklin Templeton Investments and Legg Mason as investors flock to index-related products.

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The six offerings are Fidelity Core Dividend ETF, Fidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates, Fidelity Low Volatility Factor ETF, Fidelity Momentum Factor ETF, Fidelity Quality Factor ETF and Fidelity Value Factor ETF. The expense ratios will be 0.29%.

With the additions, Fidelity customers will have access to 91 commission-free ETFs. The firm oversees more than $250 billion in ETF assets under administration, including $62 billion categorized as smart beta. The firm managed $2.1 trillion in assets as of July 31 and had $5.6 trillion under administration.

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