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Portfolio > ETFs

State Street Cuts Fees on 41 ETFs

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State Street Global Advisors (STT) said early Tuesday that it cut management fees on 41 SPDR exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across a range of asset classes, a sign of the stiff competition in today’s marketplace.

“Our primary focus is on helping investors build stronger portfolios while positioning SPDR ETFs for long-term growth,” said James Ross, executive vice president and global head of SPDR ETFs, in a statement. “Investors should look beyond a fund’s expense ratio to fully understand its total cost of ownership.”

The move may be prompted in party by recent data showing that Vanguard replaced SSgA as the No. 2 ETF provider as of Jan. 20. The website says Vanguard had $432.65 billion in ETF assets, or a roughly 21.8% market share vs. State Street’s $431.8 billion, or 21.7%. (Market leader BlackRock (BLK) had some $756.42 billion, or 38.1%.)

The S&P Barclays Aggregate Bond ETF (LAG), for instance, will see its fee ratio drop from 0.21% to 0.10%, while fees on the S&P Barclays International Corporate Bond ETF (IBND) will decline from 0.55% TO 0.50%. The SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF’s (SPGY) fee ratio is declining to 0.20% TO 0.15%.

More dramatic fee cuts include those for the SPDR S&P 1500 Value Tilt ETF (VLU) and the SPDR S&P 1500 Momentum Tilt ETF (MMTM), which saw their expense ratios slashed from 0.35% to 0.12%. The SPDR Russell 2000 Low Volatility ETF (SMLV) now has an expense ratio of 0.12% vs. its earlier fee of 0.25%.

“Competitive pricing is a core benefit to the SPDR ETF value proposition that dates back to the launch of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) in 1993,” Ross explained.

As of Dec. 31, State Street has close to $2.5 trillion in assets under management. The SPDR Gold Trust, for example, has some $27 billion in assets. A year ago, the company cut fees on its nine sector SPDR ETFs from 0.18% to 0.16%.

Rival Vanguard did not follow suit until December, when it said it would lower fees on 10 U.S. sector ETFs and two other exchange-traded products. Its Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), for instance, saw its fee decline from 0.14% to 0.12%, and its Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH) had a drop in fees from 0.19% to 0.12%.


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