Oct 26, 2023 | The Sherman Show

DoubleLine’s Scott Thomson on the Evolution of ETFs (E147)


DoubleLine ETF Specialist Scott Thomson discusses his role at the firm and describes the growing use and evolution of exchange-traded funds as vehicles for trading and investment with DoubleLine Deputy Chief Investment Officer Jeffrey Sherman and Macro Asset Allocation Analyst Mark Kimbrough. The discussion begins (1:08) with the career of Mr. Thomson, who joined DoubleLine in 2022 after working as an ETF Capital Markets and Fixed Income Strategist with PIMCO. Mr. Thomson next discusses the history of ETFs (5:29) since the first of this vehicle launched in 1993 and their evolution, a trajectory that began with passive equities funds but now includes fixed income as well as active strategies and commodities, among others.

ETFs (9:11) continue to evolve and diversify, Mr. Thomson says, noting the development of semi-transparent structures and derivative-based strategies. He foresees growth potential in  fund-of-funds strategies, which have long existed in the mutual fund universe, becoming available in ETFs as well as ETFs as a share class of mutual funds.

Mr. Sherman asks Mr. Thomson to discuss his role heading up DoubleLine’s capital markets efforts in ETFs (11:34). Mr. Thomson breaks his role into four areas: primary markets, secondary markets, client execution services and relationship management between authorized participants and market makers.

Asked by Mr. Kimbrough to explain the drivers behind the growth in fixed income ETFs (17:09), Mr. Thomson points to a combination of factors, including advisors seeking new and different investment tools, among other reasons, to the implementation of ETF model portfolios, which have grown in number and variety. Asked for advice for people who wish to trade ETFs (22:18), Mr. Thomson advises, “Always use limit orders. Don’t use market orders. That just helps you avoid paying more than you want.” For financial advisors looking to trade more than a couple of hundred shares in an ETF, he recommends they work with their firm’s or custodian’s block trading desk to support best order execution.

Mr. Sherman, recalling Mr. Thomson’s comments on the efficiency of the arbitrage mechanism in ETFs, asks the ETF specialist to describe (25:13) the liquidity and efficiency of ETFs amid the dislocation of fixed income markets in March 2020.

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  • Jeffrey Sherman, CFA

    Jeffrey Sherman, CFA

    As DoubleLine’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Jeffrey Sherman oversees and administers DoubleLine’s Investment Management sub-committee coordinating and implementing policies and processes across the investment teams. He also serves as lead portfolio manager for multi-sector and derivative-based strategies. Mr. Sherman is a member of DoubleLine’s Executive Management and Fixed Income Asset Allocation Committees. He can be heard regularly on his podcast “The Sherman Show” (Twitter @ShermanShowPod, where he interviews distinguished guests, giving listeners insight into DoubleLine’s current views. In 2018, Money Management Executive named Jeffrey Sherman as one of “10 Fund Managers to Watch” in its yearly special report. Prior to joining DoubleLine in 2009, Mr. Sherman was a Senior Vice President at TCW where he worked as a portfolio manager and quantitative analyst focused on fixed income and real-asset portfolios. He was a statistics and mathematics instructor at both the University of the Pacific and Florida State University. Mr. Sherman taught Quantitative Methods for Level I candidates in the CFA LA/USC Review Program for many years. He holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of the Pacific and an M.S. in Financial Engineering from the Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Sherman is a CFA® charterholder.

  • Samuel Lau

    Macro-Asset Allocation

    Samuel Lau

    Macro-Asset Allocation

    Mr. Lau joined DoubleLine in 2009. He is a Strategist on the Fixed Income Asset Allocation (FIAA) Committee and a contributing member on the Global Asset Allocation and Macro Committees. Mr. Lau is a Portfolio Manager on DoubleLine’s strategic commodity strategy while working in portfolio management and trading for derivatives-based and multi-asset strategies, including DoubleLine's Shiller Enhanced CAPE®, Shiller Enhanced International CAPE®, Real Estate and Income, and Multi-Asset Trend strategies. He also co-hosts the Sherman Show (Twitter @ShermanShowPod, and Monday Morning Minutes (Twitter @DLineMinutes, podcasts. Prior to DoubleLine, Mr. Lau was a Vice President at TCW where he worked under Jeffrey Gundlach as a Research Analyst in the Mortgage Group. He holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.