First Manhattan Co. Selects Ultimus to Help Launch New ETF Utilizing Precidian’s ActiveShares® Model

Ultimus leverages its existing sophisticated technology to help launch a semi-transparent ETF

Oct 25, 2022

CINCINNATI, OHIO – October 25, 2022 – Ultimus Fund Solutions® (Ultimus®), a leading independent provider of full-service technology enhanced fund administration, accounting, and investor solutions, is pleased to announce it was selected by First Manhattan Co. to assist the firm in successfully launching its first actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Founded in 1964, First Manhattan, an independently owned and operated investment advisory firm, takes a research-intensive, long-term approach to investing and currently manages over $20 billion in assets. The Firm recently launched its first ETF, FMC Excelsior Focus Equity ETF (ticker: FMCX), to bring the best of First Manhattan to a wider audience. FMCX utilizes Precidian Investments® proprietary actively managed ETF structure known as ActiveShares®. Unlike transparent active ETFs, the ActiveShares model does not disclose portfolio holdings on a daily basis. Instead, it discloses holdings quarterly, similar to a mutual fund. Although the number of semi-transparent funds available on the market is smaller compared to the typical transparent ETFs, increased interest in semi-transparent ETFs is anticipated as the product line matures.

Himayani Puri, FMCX Portfolio Manager, Senior Managing Director, and Director of Research at First Manhattan said, “Launching an ETF where the holdings are not published on a daily basis enables us to protect our intellectual property, as we invest significant resources in our proprietary research process to garner differentiated and investable insights. This structure allows us more latitude and flexibility to make portfolio changes with less friction.”

Ben Clammer, Managing Director and FMCX Business Manager at First Manhattan, notes Ultimus’ integral role during the launch. “Partnering with Ultimus streamlined our first ETF launch. Ultimately, their extensive industry knowledge, deep business relationships, and ETF launch experience were essential in planning each stage,” he says. “We were able to utilize their operational connectivity to the ETF ecosystem to successfully launch our fund.”

Investment advisers such as First Manhattan benefit from Ultimus’ open and flexible ETF ecosystem architecture, which includes its turnkey series trust solution and options for third-party vendors like auditors, legal counsel, and custodians as well as leveraging established relationships with lead market makers, listing exchanges, and authorized participants. The ability for clients to benefit from Ultimus’ approach was recently confirmed by the newly published results of Global Custodian’s 2022 ETF Administration Survey, in which clients scored Ultimus with the highest ETF administration service marks in the industry.

Michael Prendergast, Ultimus’ Senior Vice President and ETF Senior Product Specialist, explains the process further. “We leveraged our existing proprietary technology to launch this semi-transparent fund using the ActiveShares Model within the approved series trust structure,” he says. “This fund launch demonstrates Ultimus’ commitment to meeting clients’ needs in the most tailored manner possible, including supporting novel structures such as semi-transparent funds.”

Stuart Thomas, Founding Principal of Precidian Investments, notes the smooth process of working with Ultimus and First Manhattan to bring the fund to market. “We are pleased to see the launch of this ETF and its utilization of our licensed ActiveShares Model,” he says. “It took hard work and dedication on behalf of all parties involved, but the streamlined process and clear communication paved the way for a successful collaboration.”

Exchange-traded funds have gained acceptance as a solid investment strategy, as they provide investors with additional options to pursue their financial goals. This has boosted ETF asset growth. In a recent PwC report, the accountancy firm set forth the prediction that by the year 2026, ETFs would well surpass the $20 trillion mark. The online platforms are fueling the growth of ETFs, and investment firms are responding with new products to meet demand. The launch of First Manhattan’s ETF and the use of the ActiveShares Model is one example of an innovative ETF solution utilizing complex technological processes.

Kevin Wolf, Ultimus’ Executive Vice President and Head of Fund Administration and Product, solidifies the firm’s commitment to scaling existing technology. “Our commitment to consistently enhancing our existing technology and operational workflows enables Ultimus to help advisers efficiently launch new ETFs.” He continues, “By leveraging our flexible solutions and optimized processes, nearly a dozen asset managers have engaged Ultimus to help launch their ETFs this year. Our scalable operating model is well-positioned to support a robust pipeline for the months ahead.”

In just a short time, Ultimus has become the second largest named ETF fund administrator in the U.S. based upon number of sponsors serviced. The firm continues to focus on disrupting the ETF servicing space by combining a unique blend of client servicing with award-winning technology.

About Ultimus

Ultimus Fund Solutions (Ultimus) is a leading provider of full-service tech-enhanced fund administration, accounting, middle office, and investor solutions to support the launching and servicing of registered funds, private funds, and public plans. The company also offers customized structures designed for the unique needs of pensions, endowments, foundations, and other large institutions. Ultimus’ deep commitment to excellence is achieved through investments in best-in-class technology, compliance programs, organization-wide cyber security efforts, and hiring seasoned professionals.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with offices in other major cities such as Chicago, Denver, New York, and Boston, Ultimus employs more than 925 seasoned accountants, attorneys, paralegals, application developers, fund administrators, compliance specialists, and many others with years of experience in the financial services industry. Servicing over 1,600 total traditional and alternative funds, Ultimus helps investment managers and fund families flourish in today’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic investment landscape. For more information, visit

Investors should consider the investment objective, risks, and charges and expenses of the Fund(s) before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund(s) and should be read carefully before investing. The prospectus may be obtained at 888.530.2448 or

Important Information

This ETF is different from traditional ETFs.

Traditional ETFs tell the public what assets they hold each day. This ETF will not. This may create additional risks for your investment. For example:

You may have to pay more money to trade the ETF’s shares. This ETF will provide less information to traders, who tend to charge more for trades when they have less information.

The price you pay to buy ETF shares on an exchange may not match the value of the ETF’s portfolio. The same is true when you sell shares. These price differences may be greater for this ETF compared to other ETFs because it provides less information to traders. These additional risks may be even greater in bad or uncertain market conditions. The differences between this ETF and other ETFs may also have advantages. By keeping certain information about the ETF secret, this ETF may face less risk that other traders can predict or copy its investment strategy. This may improve the ETF’s performance. If other traders are able to copy or predict the ETF’s investment strategy, however, this may hurt the ETF’s performance.

Northern Lights Distributors, LLC is not affiliated with First Manhattan Co or Precidian Investments Holdings are subject to change and do not constitute a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Adviser’s judgments about the growth, value or potential appreciation of an investment may prove to be incorrect or fail to have the intended results, which could adversely impact the Fund’s performance and cause it to underperform relative to other funds with similar investment goals or relative to its benchmark. Investing in a limited number of companies, such as the Fund does, carries more risk than might be the case if the portfolio were more diversified because changes in the value of a single company may have a more significant effect, either negative or positive on the Fund’s value. The Fund is a new ETF with a limited history of operation for investor evaluate. Unlike traditional ETFs, the Fund does not tell the public what assets it holds each day. Instead, the Fund provides a VIIV, calculated and disseminated every second throughout the trading day.

Authorized Participant and AP Representative Risk. The Fund’s Authorized Participants will engage in all creation and redemption activity through an AP Representative, an unaffiliated broker-dealer with which such Authorized Participant has signed an agreement to establish a confidential account for the benefit of such Authorized Participant and that will deliver or receive, on behalf of the Authorized Participant, all consideration to or from the Fund in a creation or redemption. AP Representatives have knowledge of the composition of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and are restricted from disclosing such composition, including to the Authorized Participants. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants, or that may act as AP Representatives. If these institutions exit the business or are, for any reason, unable to process creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund, or purchase and sell securities in connection with creation and/or redemption orders, as applicable, and no other Authorized Participant or AP Representative steps forward to create or redeem, or purchase or sell securities, as applicable, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting.

Portfolio Transparency Risk. Unlike traditional ETFs, the Fund does not tell the public what assets it holds each day. Instead, the Fund provides a VIIV, calculated and disseminated every second throughout the trading day. The VIIV is intended to provide investors with enough information to allow for an effective arbitrage mechanism that keeps the market price of Shares trading at or close to the underlying NAV per share of the Fund. There is, however, a risk, which may increase during periods of market disruption or volatility, that market prices will vary significantly from the underlying NAV of the Fund. Similarly, because Shares trade on the basis of a published VIIV, they may trade at a wider bid/ask spread than shares of ETFs that publish their portfolios on a daily basis, especially during periods of market disruption or volatility, and therefore, may cost investors more to trade. Although the Fund seeks to benefit from keeping its portfolio information concealed, some market participants may attempt to use the VIIV to identify the Fund’s trading strategy, which if successful, could result in such market participants engaging in certain predatory trading practices that may have the potential to adversely affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund’s website ( contains a historical comparison of each business day’s final VIIV to that Business Day’s NAV and the specific methodology for calculating the VIIV.

Investors may see a list of securities invested in by the advisor by viewing the Fund’s SEC filings. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of securities discussed in this article.

15790422-NLD 10/17/2022 15820833 10/19/2022

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DISCLOSURE: Information contained on this website is based on public data, historical agreements and dialogue with intermediaries. Such information represents our current understanding of the described platforms and the costs associated with them. In many cases, such costs may be negotiable. All pricing and fee information is subject to change without notice.

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