• Global X Australia believes there’s enormous potential for growth as it focuses on acquiring greater share of local ETF sector
  • New CEO Evan Metcalf said the company will continue to focus on commodity sector in Australia
  • Plans to add ETFs with a fresh take on more traditional indices to its product suite

It’s been a big year for Global X ETFs Australia, known here as ETF Securities before being acquired in June by South Korea’s Mirae Asset Management and its New York based subsidiary Global X  ETFs.

The company has undertaken a rebrand, and Evan Metcalf took the helm as CEO in September.

Global X Australia CEO Evan Metcalf

Metcalf  has been with ETF Securities since the end of 2014 in a variety of roles, and has more recently focused on product development and bringing new ETFs to market.

“There’s a lot of energy coming from our new parent company Mirae Asset and Global X,” he said.

“Our strategy is bringing those capabilities and the resources we have into the Australian market but doing that in a way which is in tune with local investors.”

Backing of Mirae and Global X for growth

Metcalf said Mirae has total assets under management (AUM) of ~US$700 billion across asset management, securities and insurance division.

He said the company launched the first mutual fund in South Korea in 1998 and expanded into managed accounts, alternative assets and ETFs.

“Mirae have a large stable of ETF providers globally with Global X its largest, starting as a US-based company they acquired in 2018,” he said.

“Now Global X is across Europe, South America, Asia and now Australia.”

He said Mirae and Global X have a firm commitment to the Australian market and see a big opportunity here across the ETF sector.

Something beyond ordinary

Priding itself on striving to offer investors “something beyond ordinary”, Global X has a growing line-up that spans disruptive tech, equity income, commodities, digital assets and more.

“The heritage of Global X is really across thematic ETFs so that is a key area of focus to us,” Metcalf said.

He said the way the company approaches thematic ETFs is highly based on deep research and identifying long-term megatrends.

“We do the research into which sectors and companies are likely to benefit from long-term trends, how to identify those companies and tailoring strategies,” he said.

“There’s no one size fits all approach and we pride ourselves on having some deep research to assist investors with their decisions, so delving into the specifics of different themes and what the opportunities mean.”

Commodities remain fundamental to Global X Australia

Metcalf said the company has a deep heritage from ETF Securities in the commodity space.  The company runs the largest gold ETF in Australia, the Global X Physical Gold (ASX:GOLD).

The company last week launched the Global X Uranium ETF (ASX:ATOM)  to give local investors exposure to the growing uranium and nuclear power sector.

The Global X Green Metal Miners ETF (ASX: GMTL) launched in October offers investors diversified exposure to global lithium, copper, nickel, REE and cobalt stocks.

“We have a range of products focusing on different aspects of commodity markets from physical precious metals through to battery metals and rare earths,” Metcalf said.

He said for Global X Australia it’s about putting together an innovative product for investors that meet an investment need.

“We are a passive issuer so everything we do is index tracking but we’re not providing vanilla exposures to benchmark indices,” he said.

“We are not doing the ASX 200 trackers but more tailored exposures, but still in an index format with a set methodology.

“We work closely with a range of different partners from the index world to come up with a product that really ticks all the boxes from our perspective which ties back to the research team.”

While still leaning towards thematic ETFs, the company also plans to add funds with a fresh take on more traditional indices to its product suite to appeal to the broader market.

“We are looking to broaden our product set as well towards mainstream products that have broader market appeal,” he said.

“We will move closer to those vanilla products but not all the way there.”

Opportunities for Australia ETF market to grow

 Metcalf said ETFs currently represent 4% to 4.5% of all ASX trading.

“By way of reference, pre-Covid this number was closer to 1.5% and also by way of comparison the equivalent number in the US is closer to 22%, which shows the kind of potential that our market has,” he said.

Metcalf said there continues to be a good uptake of ETFs in Australia driven by investors wanting both broad ASX 200 type and thematic exposure.

“Some of that has been driven by millennials and younger investors coming into the market over the last few years and access to discount and online brokers,” he said.

“There’s been a big spike in retail investors but also people using ETFs in self-managed super funds so a range of different purposes.”

Looking towards 2023 growth

 And while 2022 has been a big year for Global X Australia, 2023 is shaping up as one for growth and expansion.

“We are looking to roll out more products, expand capabilities and capacity across the team,” he said.

In terms of AUM, Global X Australia is looking to climb the ranks next year with currently $4.8 billion AUM across 25 ETFs.

“We are officially number 7 in the market at the moment and that includes active fund managers who happen to have ETFs as well, so we are looking to take market share and move up the rankings over a three-to-five-year period,” Metcalf said.