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Actively managed exchange-traded funds emerge as a quiet success story, says Cerulli

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Net new flows (NNF) into active exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the nine months to September 2014 hit almost EUR1.6 billion (USD2.2 billion). 

That’s according to the November 2014 issue of The Cerulli Edge-European Monthly Product Trends.

Active ETFs make up only a small percentage of the product range in the European market, but they are set to grow. Meanwhile, some predict that active ETFs in the United States will reach USD500 billion (EUR403 billion) by 2020 – up from USD15 billion now.

“It is no surprise that this phenomenon is gaining traction,” says Barbara Wall, Europe research director at Cerulli Associates. “There is little doubt that passives are gaining marketshare, but the industry is set for a major shake-up. Many such products, especially those with no unique selling point, will founder – only leaving room for those with sufficient scale to make them work,” she adds.

“The market is awash with passives and managers hoping to survive in these competitive spaces will have to come up with something different,” says Angelos Gousios, senior analyst at Cerulli. “But ETF versions of actively managed products, which require little additional work, offer opportunities to managers while still retaining a decent fee,” he adds.

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