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Goldman Sachs looks to reinvent tech ETFs as themed funds

Goldman Sachs wants to revolutionize tech investment with a clutch of new ETFs.

The New York-based bank’s money management arm is starting five ETFs that focus on industries where technological innovation is driving growth, such as data, finance and manufacturing, according to a statement. The new funds, which all charge $5 for every $1,000 invested, start trading Thursday.

“There’s no such thing as the technology industry now, every industry is about technology,” said Mike Crinieri, Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s global head of ETF strategy. “These products are really focusing on who’s driving advances in innovation in these different sectors of the market.”

Signage for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is displayed at the One Raffles Link building, which houses one of the Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte offices, in Singapore, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Singapore has expanded a criminal probe into fund flows linked to scandal-plagued 1MDB to include Goldman Sachs Group, which helped raise money for the entity, people with knowledge of the matter said. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Signage for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is displayed at the One Raffles Link building, which houses one of the Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte offices, in Singapore, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Singapore has expanded a criminal probe into fund flows linked to scandal-plagued 1MDB to include Goldman Sachs Group, which helped raise money for the entity, people with knowledge of the matter said. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Goldman is not the only money manager trying to change how investors think about technology companies. State Street now has six funds focused on so-called new economies — including final frontiers, like outer space — while Ark Investment Management has outperformed stock ETFs for the last three years with two innovation-oriented funds.

Thematic ETFs have evolved from a niche business into a growing focus for large asset managers, not least because these funds can charge more than a broad stock fund. While ETFs charge an average $4.80 for every $1,000 invested, thematic funds cost as much as $9.50 and average $6.10.

The new funds are the Goldman Sachs Motif Data-Driven World ETF (GDAT), the Goldman Sachs Motif Finance Reimagined ETF (GFIN), the Goldman Sachs Motif Human Evolution ETF (GDNA), the Goldman Sachs Motif Manufacturing Revolution ETF (GMAN) and the Goldman Sachs Motif New Age Consumer ETF (GBUY).