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SEC Wants to Speed ETF Approval for Faster Launches


The SEC will consider a proposal this year that would make it easier for asset managers to introduce simple index-based ETFs, according to a report Friday.

Norm Champ, director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, told Reuters that “plain vanilla” ETFs could get automatic “exemptive relief” to launch, which would save time for the SEC and allow firms to list funds faster.

Currently, the SEC grants exemptive relief to ETFs on a case by case basis, but defining in advance the kinds of funds that would get that relief, the SEC could speed the process, Champ said.

“The industry would be pleased to see this kind of action, but the question is what constitutes a plain-vanilla ETF,” said Morningstar analyst Mike Rawson in the Reuters story.

In April, Reuters reported the SEC was mulling a once-shelved proposal that would make it easier for fund managers to launch less complex ETFs. The SEC’s 2008 proposal would allow certain types of ETFs to bypass the process of getting the necessary exemptive relief from the SEC to launch. [SEC Could Make It Easier to Launch New ETFs]

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