(Reuters) – Rockefeller Asset Management and KraneShares on Tuesday announced the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focusing on the so-called “blue economy,” which seeks to develop marine and freshwater resources and manage them in a sustainable way.
The KraneShares Rockefeller Ocean Engagement ETF (KSEA) plans to invest in aquaculture, waste management, commercial fishing, renewable energy and logistics companies globally that seek to improve the health of the world’s oceans, the firms said in a press release.
KSEA did not respond to a request for further comment.
There are a handful of other ETFs seeking to profit from the evolution of a “blue economy,” but their assets are modest.
The largest, according to Morningstar, is the IQ Clean Oceans ETF, launched nearly two years ago, which now has $4.6 million in assets. Newday Ocean Health ETF (AHOY) made its debut in June 2022, and has some $2 million in assets.
A third fund, Breakwave Sea Decarbonization Tech ETF, launched in September 2021 but closed its doors in July 2023 and plans to liquidate.
Analysts say retail demand for “blue economy” funds is still in the embryonic stage, but interest in the area is growing, led by institutional investors.
A European Commission report published this year polled 87 institutions and found that 76 planned to invest an average of 124.5 million euros ($133.90 million) in this niche by 2030.
On its launch, KSEA’s largest portfolio holdings included stakes in Waste Management, Berry Global Group, a plastics manufacturer whose stated goal is to develop sustainable products, Advanced Drainage Systems, a provider of water management solutions and grocery retailer Albertsons.
Total annual fund operating expenses will total 0.86%, according to the prospectus.
KraneShares is a division of Krane Funds Advisors, LLC, an investment management firm that emphasizes China-related products, ETFs offering investment opportunities tied to carbon reduction and climate change, and uncorrelated strategies. China International Capital Corp acquired a majority stake in KraneShares in 2017.
Rockefeller, which has ties with an array of non-profit organizations such as the Ocean Foundation, will be the subadviser for the fund.
($1 = 0.9298 euros)
(Reporting by Suzanne McGee; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Jamie Freed)