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iShares is most trusted ETF brand


iShares continues to be the exchange traded fund (ETF) brand advisers trust the most, despite an expanding set of ETF competitors including a number of the largest mutual fund managers.

Brand trust, along with leadership, represent top drivers of ETF purchase consideration. These and other findings are included in Advisor Brandscape 2016, a Cogent Reports study recently released by Market Strategies International.
As ETF producers report using a greater variety of ETF products and providers, there is plenty of opportunity for new entrants to capitalise on growing market demand for ETFs. According to the report, Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan, and Oppenheimer all earn relatively strong associations in brand trust, ranking among the top 10 brands in the ETF category for the first time this year. Fidelity ranks fifth in brand trust for the second year in a row.
“Well-known active managers relatively new to the ETF market have an opportunity to build upon their credibility as mutual fund providers, particularly in areas of perceived expertise,” says Meredith Lloyd Rice, vice president at Market Strategies and lead author of the report. “That said, these firms still have their work cut out for them to realise their full potential.”
In fact, as adviser interest in smart-beta ETFs surges, it is the perceived category leaders – namely iShares – that appear to have a leg up. iShares achieves the highest consideration as both a rules-based and a passive manager.
Vanguard, which ranks second in consideration as an ETF provider, is the most trusted brand among RIAs. Similar to the mutual fund category, active managers tend to earn weaker ratings within this segment.
“We are seeing a greater variety of ETF products that give firms an opportunity to establish themselves, but the key selection criteria within the category remain the same – trust and leadership are where building the brand starts. Firms will need to demonstrate a commitment to building associations in these areas to challenge the leaders,” says Chris Barnes, senior vice president at Market Strategies.

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