Sylvia Jablonski is Chief Investment Officer for Defiance ETFs. Ms. Jablonski manages Defiance’s retail and institutional investment research, capital markets and thematic ETF model portfolios. She is a recognized pioneer in the ETF industry.
Acknowledged as a top expert in the ETF space, Ms. Jablonski is frequently featured on CNBC, Bloomberg and in The Wall Street Journal.
In her 3,467 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript, Sylvia Jablonski discusses the start up of her asset management firm Defiance ETF and what makes it different:
“One of the other Defiance co-founders, Matt Bielski, and I had worked together at Direxion for some time, and developed a business together within one, so when he left to start Defiance, I knew it would disrupt the ETF industry and pave a new and exciting future.
I joined him, Paul Dellaquila, Jacob Ingram, and the four of us were just really motivated to build out not only a new ETF company that thinks about things differently, but a fintech asset management firm that would challenge everything.
So on the ETF side, we tend to launch products that are different, and we think about innovation and disruption and what the next decade will look like — as in the trillions of dollars that are sitting with baby boomers, plus are eventually going to trickle down to the kids that have started trading now during COVID that are between, let’s say, those from 13 to 30.
I don’t know that there were products that are perfectly targeted to them and their needs.
So we tried to think about who’s the next-generation trader, and what is the next generation of interesting product indices, themes, disruptors, innovators, and we launched our products based on that thesis. We also have a part of our company that is focused on digital marketing and distribution 2.0.
We disrupt marketing and old-school classic advertising that doesn’t necessarily work in the financial sector, with new and innovative ways to create stellar product messaging to the public.
Then there are some other things that we’re working on too whereby eventually we’re going to be a full-fledged fintech asset management firm serving everything from products, investing and marketing.
It is a super exciting time for us.”
Sylvia Jablonski discusses her methodology for constructing a new ETF:
“What we do is look at companies that are involved in managing volume — the amount of data, the volume of data — and we’re looking at data that’s collected from different programs, databases, languages, takes different shapes in terms of files, whether sizes, Excel, CSV, SQL, video, text, PDF, graphics, whatever it might be.
We look at the companies that gather all of that data.The next thing that we do is we look at companies that make it readable and accessible and sort of analyze it. We look at companies that are involved in the Internet of Things, so data infrastructure, for example, as in API management companies.
A couple examples are Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), Cloudera (NYSE:CLDR) for big data analytics, and, for accessibility, that would be a Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) and a Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW). So basically, we analyze the universe for who these companies are and then we come up with the rules.
The index that we track — we work with an index provider and we give them the information to come up with the parameters for the index.
So that provider is the BlueStar Big Data & Analytics Index, and it pretty much tracks companies that get at least 50% of their revenue from the sub-themes that I just discussed, so data management, platform, development operations, analytics, visualization software, API software.
There are companies that have to have at least $500 million of market cap, and an ADV of at least $3 million in the last couple of quarters and listed on a National Stock Exchange. So we look for pure-play big data companies and essentially create this index that tracks them.”
Defiance CIO Sylvia Jablonski is on the look out for hot sectors to develop into easy investable ETFs for her customers:
“We launched our psychedelic ETF. We’ve launched a hydrogen ETF. So we have quantum computing, 5G, a couple other ETFs. Those listings are the more recent disruptors…
I don’t know that ETFs have to be particularly helpful in terms of combating inflation, but they give you access to sectors that perhaps do well in inflationary markets. With us, we don’t really think that there will be a big impact on our specific themes as they are lifelong opportunities almost regardless of the day-to-day news.
For example, psychedelics aren’t going to be impacted by inflation. Hydrogen, the conversion to alternative energy, so much of that is going to be based on spending, and government spending seems to be going towards infrastructure and alternative energy build out. So we don’t think that inflation will impact that negatively. We don’t really have any consumer discretionary ETFs and perhaps consumer-based ETFs will suffer.
I mean, I personally just don’t think that inflation is going to be the thing that sets us back in the markets. I think that I’m on the side of saying it’s transitory. I think it’s going to stay at certain levels, and perhaps grow a little bit more, but I’m more in the camp of I don’t think that used cars are going to continue rising 45% every quarter over quarter. I just think that a lot of this stuff is targeted to the reopen and it’s hitting a lot of those sectors.
So I think that the things that we do are sort of longer-term things. They are five to 10 years out. Quantum computing is just getting started, right? I don’t think that you could argue that the prices for semiconductors will not be higher for these companies who run these computers. But I don’t really think that there are things that are going to hold it back.”
Get the complete picture and all the detail by reading the entire 3,467 word interview with Sylvia Jablonski, CIO of Defiance ETFs, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.
Sylvia Jablonski, Chief Investment Officer
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