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Philanthropy + Financial Markets = AdvisorShares Global Echo ETF
By Tyler Collins

AdvisorShares and the GlobalECHO Foundation, have partnered to offer a new actively managed ETF (Exchange Traded Fund), the Advisorshares Global Echo ETF (NYSE symbol: GIVE). The fund is managed with a sustainability and impact investing focus, and is designed to create a unique funding mechanism between capital markets and the philanthropic initiatives of a global non-profit.

Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthECHO International and grandson of renowned environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, founded the GlobalECHO Foundation to provide funding solutions for three sets of interrelated and critically important global issues: women and children, microenterprise, and environmental education.

In a recent presentation for invited guests at First Affirmative’s Boulder, Colorado office, Cousteau spoke of his experience with philanthropy and how the normal process is a zero-sum game. “I’m always asking people to give us money so we can change the world… I was wondering whether there’s a way to turn it around and say, ‘Let’s make money and change the world!’”

Ongoing support of the GlobalECHO foundation is built in to the GIVE structure. AdvisorShares contributes 40 basis points (0.40%) of the management fee to Cousteau’s GlobalECHO Foundation and another 25 basis points to other charitable organizations. The four active managers of this fund, in aggregate, only receive 25 basis points as a sub-advisory fee.

Each of the four portfolio managers are currently responsible for approximately 25% of GIVE assets. First Affirmative Financial Network serves as both allocation manager and the manager of a long-short SRI strategy. Baldwin Brothers and Reynders McVeigh Capital Management each manage global equity strategies, and Community Capital Management manages a domestic fixed income strategy.

GIVE is actively managed with an impact investing mandate and broad diversification. For some investors, it may be an excellent way to combine impact philanthropy and investing for capital appreciation.

In 2012, the GlobalECHO Foundation joined the Clinton Global Initiative in a commitment to provide financial resources that will help the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo install solar panels and reduce their reliance on the region’s unstable power grid.

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. First Affirmative advises that a qualified financial advisor be consulted when considering any investment opportunity—including GIVE.

Posted: March 5, 2013