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ProShares Offers ETF Investors Access to Raiders, Barbarians

Managed futures mutual funds? They are so 2012.

ProShares today launched an exchange-traded fund dubbed the ProShares Global Listed Private Equity ETF (BATS:PEX), which the firm is touting as the first globally diversified ETF focused on private equity shops. But ProShares is not alone in this space.

PEX tracks the LPX Direct Listed Private Equity Index, a portfolio of up to 30 listed private equity companies worldwide. The fund’s top three holdings are Apollo Investment Corp, Ares Capital Corp and BlackRock Kelso Capital as of Feb. 27. It sports an expense ratio of 254 basis points.

“Private equity has long been a staple of institutional and high-net-worth individuals’ portfolios; for other investors, it’s been difficult to access,” stated Michael Sapir, chairman and chief executive of ProShare Advisors, ProShares' investment advisor. “PEX offers access to global private equity with the liquidity, transparency and cost effectiveness of an ETF.”

Two other firms are currently vying for investors' dolars with their own private equity ETF offerings. The iShares S&P Listed Private Equity ETF tracks the S&P Listed Private Equity Index, which is comprised of 43 listed private equity companies such as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and American Capital. The fund is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Deutsche Börse, NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, NYSE Euronext Paris and SIX Swiss Exchange.

There is also the PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity ETF (PSSP), which is benchmarked to the Red Rocks Global Listed Private Equity Index. The fund is listed on the London Stock Exchange and on the NYSE Arca(PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity Portfolio ETF (PSP)).