Being "old school" isn't always such a bad thing. In the case of the burgeoning ETF business, having a long track record seems to be working for State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), which introduced the first U.S. ETF -- the SPDR (Amex: SPY) -- in 1993 and still gets plenty of assets flowing into its exchange-traded portfolios.
More recently, Boston-based State Street has decided to consolidate its ETF business under its main brand, the SPDRs, in order to more efficiently promote all of its products in the marketplace.
While the first round of moves will impact the names of 23 funds, ticker symbols will remain the same. A second round of name adjustments for other ETFs (currently operating under the streetTRACKS brand) is expected later in the year.
"The new brand platform centers around the concept of precision in two ways," says Tony Rochte, head of SSgA's U.S. intermediary sales and client service operation. "First, the suggestion of SPDRs' product purity, and second, what investors look for in an investment: a vehicle that helps them to precisely match their investment strategy."
While many of State Street's ETFs carry the streetTRACKS name, the brand never really flourished.
SSgA ended 2006 with approximately $102 billion in its 43 U.S.-listed ETFs. The "SPDR" trademark is used under license from The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Ron DeLegge is the editor of www.etfguide.com.