Capstone – Project

28. Open for Trading: ETF Issuer

A Collaboration Between

Engagement Synopsis

Market analysis: How do investors make buying decisions when they purchase an ETF? One area of focus is distribution channels utilized by ETF issuers and key influencers for each of the respective distribution channels, and another is how this process is evolving as more investors manage their own portfolios using new investment platforms.

Company Information

CompanyWilshire Phoenix
HQNew York
StageMedium Business
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time, Upper Level Full-Time

Company Overview

Wilshire Phoenix is a new kind of financial firm - leading through innovation - offering access to unique, differentiated investment strategies. We develop exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other publicly-traded products that seek to respond to the various challenges that investors face in today’s increasingly complex global markets. We monitor for, and adapt to, shifting financial landscapes, the growth of industries, and the emergence of alternative assets. We place a strong emphasis on simplicity and elegance over complexity and structure products that not only seek to provide for strong risk-adjusted returns but also protect investors. Wilshire is a proud supporter of foundations and charitable organizations – where we work and live – and places more distant. We commit ourselves to take philanthropic action by using a strategic approach over the long term to support our not-for-profit partners around the globe.

Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Alexander Chang

[email protected]

Course Info & Engagement Details

SchoolMasters in Business Administration (MBA)
Engagement Format -
CourseMBA Interterm (SPRING 2021)
Students Enrolled120 enrolled, 3-5 students per team per project
Meeting Day & Time3/22-25/2021
Student Time Commitment30+ Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment5+ Hours
Duration0.43 Weeks

Project Topics

Growth Strategy

Research & Development

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students


Alex Pettey

[email protected]


Julie Fancher

[email protected]


Matthew Ellison

[email protected]

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Submission
During this program, you'll be working on a real project posed by a real industry partner. Please download, sign, and then upload the Statement of Confidentiality. If your industry partner requires an additional NDA, that will be loaded as a Project Resources
March 20th, 2021 Submission Required submission-required


Each company will provide a web conference link and time for scheduled kickoff meeting
March 22nd, 2021 Event na
Temperature Check #1 Due by 5:00 PM ET

Temperature Check #1 Due by 5:00 PM ET

March 22nd, 2021 Event na
Temperature Check #2 Due by 5:00 PM ET

Temperature Check #2 Due by 5:00 PM ET

March 23rd, 2021 Event na
Please upload your final presentations and/or any final reports you delivered to the company.
March 25th, 2021 Submission Required submission-required
Final PEER Evaluation Due

Final PEER Evaluation Due

March 28th, 2021 Event na
Final SELF Evaluation Due

Final SELF Evaluation Due

March 28th, 2021 Event na
Final Interterm Feedback Survey

Final Interterm Feedback Survey

March 28th, 2021 Event na

Key Milestones & Project Process

  • March 23, 2021 - Deep-dive into the ETF product.

    • How would you describe the ETF?
    • How would describe the ETF landscape,  including competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and tactics?
    • How does this product connect with investors? How does it respond to a particular niche? In what ways does it have broad appeal?
    • What is the ETF’s fee structure? Is it competitive? Predictable?
    • What are some advantages that investors can get from ETFs as compared to corresponding mutual funds?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop a compelling “elevator speech” to explain the product to appropriate audiences

  • March 25, 2021 - Create an ETF Distribution Strategy "Playbook"

    • What are the key sales segments and sub-segments that you recommend serve as distribution channels for this product in the Marketplace?
    • What are the challenges for this ETP to gain traction in the market?
    • What current channels can be leveraged to market this ETF?
    • What are the fixed costs and run rate to launch and maintain the ETF until it gains traction?
    • What are the indicators of success for this ETF?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    An ETF Distribution “Playbook” outlining the distribution strategy you recommend

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available