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Active ETF Segment Keeps Growing, Attracting Assets


While the exchange traded fund industry is dominated by passive index-based options, the smaller actively managed ETF segment continues to gain assets and expand investment offerings.

According to AdvisorShares data, there were 122 actively managed U.S.-listed ETF on the market with $18.39 billion in assets under management as of the end of November. The active ETF spaced added 4 new strategies and gathered $9889 million in assets over November.

The Cambria Global Momentum ETF (GMOM) , First Trust Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF (FEMB) , First Trust Low Duration Mortgage Opportunities ETF (LMBS) and PowerShares DB Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy Portfolio (PDBC) were launched last month.

PIMCO remains the largest player in the active space with $6.7 billion in assets under management, representing 36.2% of the active ETF market share, followed by First Trust with $3.3 billion, WisdomTree with $1.8 billion, AdvisorShares with $1.5 billion and WBI Shares with $1.2 billion. AdvisorShares with 26 funds still leads with the most diversified selection of active ETF options.

First Trust has been quickly gaining traction in the active ETF space, bringing in over $1 billion in assets in November. Meanwhile, PIMCO continued to lose assets as investors yanked $300 million from the fund provider in the wake of Bill Gross’ switch to Janus.

Investors were particularly interested in active short-term bond ETFs, with the recently launched First Trust Enhanced Short Maturity Fund (FTSM) , which launched in early October, up to $1.6 billion in assets as of the end of November. Nevertheless, the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity (MINT) still dominated the category, with $3.6 billion in assets under management. Active short-term bond ETFs held $6.8 billion in assets, representing 36.8% of the active ETF market share.

Moreover, the SEC approved an exemptive relief for Eaton Vance’s new actively managed exchange traded mutual fund, or ETMFs, which should not be confused with ETFs. [Eaton Vance Wins Exemptive Relief for ETMFs]


For more information on ETF flows, visit our ETF performance reports category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.