Hennessy Advisors, Inc. (NASDAQ: HNNA) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Stance Capital, LLC (“Stance Capital”) and Red Gate Advisers, LLC, among others, related to the management of the Stance Equity ESG Large Cap Core ETF (NYSE: STNC) (the “Stance ETF”). The Stance ETF has current assets of approximately $40 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2022.
Upon completion of the transaction, the Stance ETF will be reorganized to become a series of Hennessy Funds Trust named the Hennessy Stance ESG Large Cap ETF (the “Hennessy Stance ETF”), and Hennessy Advisors, Inc. will become the investment advisor.
Neil Hennessy, Chairman and CEO of Hennessy Advisors, Inc., noted, “We are excited to undertake this strategic expansion of our business and to partner with the team at Stance Capital. This unique ETF product is consistent with our historical strength of providing our investors with portfolios focused on long-term value, while kicking off the next stage of our product evolution into the ETF market. We look forward to welcoming the Stance ETF shareholders, and we are committed to a smooth transition into the Hennessy family of investments.”
Stance Capital will serve as the sub-advisor to the Hennessy Stance ETF and the current Portfolio Managers Bill Davis and Kyle Balkissoon will continue providing the day-to-day management of the Hennessy Stance ETF portfolio. Additionally, the Hennessy Stance ETF will continue to operate under the Portfolio Reference Basket structure of the Blue Tractor Group, LLC, pursuant to a license agreement. Vident Investment Advisory, LLC will continue to provide trading sub-advisory services to the Hennessy Stance ETF.
Bill Davis, Founder of Stance Capital, added, “Neil Hennessy, Teresa Nilsen, and the team at Hennessy consistently demonstrate a commitment to their shareholders and the asset management industry. We feel confident our shareholders will continue to receive solid portfolio management, excellent shareholder service, and dedicated trustee guidance.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including SEC approval of an exemptive order allowing the Hennessy Stance ETF to operate under the Portfolio Reference Basket structure licensed by the Blue Tractor Group, as well as approval by the Hennessy Funds Trust Board of Trustees, The RBB Fund, Inc. (of which the Stance ETF is a series) Board of Directors, and the Stance ETF shareholders. The transaction has been structured with the intention that it qualify, for federal income tax purposes, as a tax‑free reorganization under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Therefore, shareholders of the Stance ETF should not recognize any gain or loss for federal income tax purposes as a result of the transaction.