OppenheimerFunds to Acquire VTL in ETF Push, Adding $1.7 Billion

OppenheimerFunds agreed to acquire VTL Associates as part of a push into exchange-traded funds that weigh metrics beyond market capitalization when buying stocks.

VTL manages $1.7 billion across offerings including eight ETFs, OppenheimerFunds said Wednesday in a statement that didn’t disclose terms. That adds to the $220 billion in assets that the buyer managed as of Aug. 31.

Insurers including New York Life Insurance Co. and Principal Financial Group Inc. have sought to diversify fund offerings to attract clients and boost fee income. OppenheimerFunds, which is owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., acquired SteelPath in 2012 to expand into funds that bet on energy infrastructure through master limited partnerships.

“Clients have expressed interest in OppenheimerFunds expanding its array of investment capabilities,” Peter Mintzberg, head of corporate strategy and development at OppenheimerFunds, said in the statement. “We continue to look for these types of opportunities to further broaden our offering.”

VTL’s so-called smart-beta offerings weigh stocks by factors such as revenue or dividends, in an effort to limit risk tied to over-valued companies. Its RevenueShares ADR Fund, which has been more reliant than its benchmark on energy-related securities, has slumped 10 percent this year through Tuesday.

Citigroup Inc. was the bank for OppenheimerFunds, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher served as legal counsel. VTL used RBC Capital Markets and Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe.

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