ETF TV News #94 Paul Kim, Simplify and Victoria Wolodzko, Susan G. Komen discuss supporting Breast Cancer research with ETFs on ETF TV

Presented by Syntax Advisors.

Margareta Hricova: Welcome to ETF TV – your insight into the role of exchange traded funds, issuers and investment. I am Margareta Hricova and joining me today is Paul Kim, CEO and co-founder of Simplify, and Victoria Wolodzko, Senior Vice President at Susan G. Komen, and Deborah Fuhr.

Welcome to the show.

Victoria Wolodzko: Thank you so much for having me.

Paul Kim: Thanks for having me as well.

Deborah Fuhr: Thank you.

Margareta Hricova: So, Paul, why did you decide to create unless than you actively managed, Simplify Healthcare ETF with the ticker, PINK, which will donate the profits of Susan G. Komen Organization?

Paul Kim: ETF use cases run a big spectrum of ideas, and I think some of the most popular ideas these days are thematic or often ESG and sort of impact investing. For us, this hits kind of both. It’s a concentrated health care ETF, actively managed by a very experienced portfolio manager who ran billions of dollars for the largest hedge funds out there, and it’s all pro-bono and it’s a very, very personal and important cause for us. And so this is our way of giving back through an ETF that we think can be very popular. There’s a large number of funds, as well as the assets inside of the health care sector. This is intending to be an actively managed sector ETF.

Deborah Fuhr: And is the ETF focused on investing in companies that are focused on breast cancer research or other solutions?

Paul Kim: Our view here is to first identify a large use case, i.e. health care, and essentially beat the benchmark and then by generating a lot of assets, i.e. by having a successful ETF, we could have the best impact, rather than narrowly creating an index that tries to impact companies through, frankly, not a lot of dollars. We’d rather raise a lot of money, and you have the cash to a foundation that’s known as a very good steward of capital and research.

Margareta Hricova: So, Victoria, can you share with us the backstory to Susan G. Komen Organization?

Victoria Wolodzko: We were established in 1982 with a vision to create a world without breast cancer, and since then we’ve been relentless in this pursuit. We have a 360 degree approach. We invest in innovative research. We advocate for public policies, and we also provide direct patient support services. Through this work, we’ve funded thousands of scientists. We’ve actually served millions of patients in more than 60 countries and helped to reduce the breast cancer mortality rate by more than 40%.

Deborah Fuhr: How many people are impacted by cancer and breast cancer, annually?

Victoria Wolodzko: Anually, here in the United States, it’s nearly 300.000 people that will hear the words, “You have breast cancer.” We’re fortunate in the US that we have about three million breast cancer survivors, but yet we know that for many of them, that’s not the end of the story. We’re still worried about hundreds of thousands of patients who are experiencing breast cancer recurrence and metastasis. We also know that hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing disparities in their breast cancer outcomes. They don’t get the same level of care as everyone else. These are the problems that we’re hoping to solve for research.

Deborah Fuhr: And I guess the past year and a half has been quite difficult. Can you talk a little bit about how COVID-19 has impacted your work?

Victoria Wolodzko: It’s been extraordinarily difficult this year and these past few years in light of COVID-19. In the early days, there was so much fear about what would happen at the hospitals and medical centers that were seeing COVID patients, so the advice was not to go and get your routine screening. In some cases, treatments were being delayed. People who were on clinical trials or other therapies were being recommended to stay home for a short time.

The good news is that our hospitals and medical centers figured out how to do things safely fairly quickly, so we were encouraging people to go back to be seen back in the centers. The other good thing that was happening was an explosion of telehealth and telemedicine. We’ve been a strong advocate for people being able to receive therapies at home, where it makes sense and where they can be more safely seen. So that’s been really exciting to see the technology that’s been allowing that to happen. But even in all of this good, that’s come, we’re really concerned about what’s happened to biomedical science and research that’s been delayed. Young people who have left the field in droves and I think we’re going to be seeing the impact for some years to come.

Deborah Fuhr: And can you talk a little bit about the type of research that you fund and are there specific things that you look to fund going forward into 2022?

Victoria Wolodzko: Everything from the biology of breast cancer so that scientists can find weaknesses to target, to translating those findings through clinical trials, to new treatments and treatment combinations. We have a strong portfolio looking at breast cancer recurrence and metastasis so that we can understand why some cancers outsmart the best therapies we currently have, and use that knowledge to find better options for patients.

But going forward, what we’re really excited about are some things like looking at biomarkers; can we use things like blood tests or saliva tests to better diagnose breast cancer? We’re also looking at exciting new things in imaging technology, some of which work alongside biomarkers to help us understand whether treatments are actually working for patients. We’re investing in AI technology to have better sensitivity than the naked eye to be able to see breast cancer at its earliest possible point.

Margareta Hricova: And other grants available to companies and research scientists.

Victoria Wolodzko: So right now, our grants are specifically for academic scientists. We’re really excited that we have a long legacy of investing in young people. Those early career investments in young talent have helped fuel the success we see today. We also support today’s thought leaders; the doctor who created Tamoxifen and the scientists who discovered the BRCA gene are among the researchers that Komen has supported. So these investments do help fuel the best of the best.

Deborah Fuhr: That’s great. And if someone wants to make a donation or apply for a grant, where should they go?

Victoria Wolodzko: KOMEN.ORG.

Margareta Hricova: And Paul, do you have plans to list more ETFs?

Paul Kim: PINK is actually number 15 for us, and we probably have another dozen. None will be as impactful as PINK, and maybe one day if this ETF becomes very, very large, we could think of other charities. But for now, we’re a small startup and we have a lot of ambitions and we have this one cause that we’re going to pull really hard to try to impact.

Margareta Hricova: That’s great. Thank you both for being here.

Victoria Wolodzko: Thank you so much for having me, and on behalf of breast cancer patients, thank you so much for this exciting new program.

Paul Kim: Thank you so much, PINK.

Margareta Hricova: Debbie, can you tell us about some of the other news in the ETF industry?

Deborah Fuhr: Last week we had only 15 new listings, so each one came from a different issuer and 11 of the 15 came from issuers in Asia-Pacific, which is quite unusual.

Another thing that’s interesting is there’s a new type of index, a metaverse index, which is looking to capture trends of entertainment, sports and business shifting to take place in the virtual environment. Those all came out of Korea.

The big news, though, is really we are expecting to have listed on Tuesday this week the first Bitcoin ETF in the US. Everyone has been trying to read the tea leaves around what type of crypto product might get approved. Would it be physical? Would it be futures? Futures seemed to be the more popular one going forward, and what has happened is, ProShares started to manage a bitcoin mutual fund using futures, and their ETF has been accepted to be listed as an ETF, and that’s expected to happen tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange.

It will not be the first crypto product to be out there. Already, globally, we have 67 products with $12 billion, but it will be the first one to be listed in the US, and I think that’s really big news. There are other filings in place to do futures based products, and the reason futures based is moving forward faster than physical is; futures based products will be structured as 1940F funds, or real ETFs, which is the definition the FCC uses and not as grantor trusts or other models of products, so it will be interesting to watch how this takes place, what comes next, and what is the uptick happening later this week.

Margareta Hricova: Thanks so much, Debbie, and thank you to our sponsors, Syntax Advisors, to Paul and Victoria, and of course, to all of you for watching.

To watch prior episodes and to see news from the ETF industry, visit ETFTV.NET.

Thank you.

Victoria Wolodzko: ETF TV News does not provide investment advice, nor recommend products.

Published on October 19, 2021