October 4, 2012

Top 10 Biggest ETF Sponsors

New entrants into the market find tough going, Cerulli reports

As the Morningstar ETF Invest conference rolled along in Chicago, new research by Cerulli Associates on exchange traded funds showed that while the ETF space continued to grow and expand in product offerings, some firms’ recent ETF closings–like Russell and FocusShares–proves it’s still a “very difficult” market for new entrants.

As of July, there were 1,268 ETFs, with 614 (48%) having assets less than $50 million, which Cerulli says testifies “to the difficulty sponsors have in raising assets to a profitable level (which sponsors tell us is generally greater than $100 million).”

While Russell Investments announced in late September it was liquidating 25 equity index ETFs with around $310 million in assets, Cerulli notes that other firms like Legg Mason have announced a filing to offer new passively managed ETFs while Columbia is planning a launch of 17 new active ETFs that will include equity products.

“Given the distribution resources and size of these potential entrants,” Cerulli says, “their success or failure will be signs of where the ETF market is going to grow in the future and what product strategies are necessary to succeed.”

Cerulli notes that ETF sponsors are approaching the size of their product lineup in different ways. On one end of the spectrum is iShares, the Boston-based Cerulli notes, which offered 276 ETFs as of July, 138 more than the second-largest lineup, ProShares.

Read on for the Top 10 Biggest ETF Sponsors by number of products.

WisdomTree President Bruce Lavine

10. WisdomTree Asset Management

WisdomTree offers 48 ETFs

Total assets of $15.4 billion for an average of $322 million per ETF.

9. Van Eck

Van Eck offers 50 ETFs

Total asstes of $23.8 billion for an average of $476 million.

Vanguard Founder John Bogle.

8. Direxion Funds

Direxion offers 56 ETFs

Total assets of $6 billion for an average of $109 million.

7. Vanguard

Vanguard offers 64 ETFs

Total assets of $215 billion for an average of $3.3 billion.

6. First Trust    

First Trust offers 70 ETFs

Total assets of $7.5 billion for an average of $107 million.

5. Guggenheim   

Guggenheim offers 78 ETFs

Total assets of $11.2 billion for an average of $144 million.

State Street headquarters.

4. State Street Global Advisors    

State Street offers 115 ETFs

Total assets of $299 billion for an average of $2.6 billion.

3. InvescoPowerShares     

InvescoPowerShares offers 126 ETFs

Assests worth a total of $56 billion for an average of $451 million.

BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink.

2. ProShares   

ProShares offers 138 ETFs

Total assets of $21.9 billion for an average of $138 million.

1. BlackRock iShares

BlackRock iShares offers 276 ETFs

Total assets of $493 billion for an average 0f $1.7 billion.

(Check out complete coverage of Morningstar ETF Invest Conference 2012 and in-depth ETF news at AdvisorOne.)

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