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ETFs look to become investment vehicle of choice for managers: Cerulli Associates

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Cerulli Associates’ US Monthly Product Trends analyses product trends as of August 2023, including mutual funds and ETFs and finds that mutual funds shed assets due to both flows and performance in August, as asset levels dropped USD464 billion during a month that suffered USD45.8 billion in total net outflows.

Active mutual funds continued their outflow streak, while passive funds took in marginal flows of USD3.7 billion.

ETF assets declined 2.3 per cent in August to USD7.4 trillion. ETF flows, while positive in August, were lower than July, posting just USD12.9 billion vs. USD58.3 billion. Taxable bonds gathered a steady flow of USD8.1 billion in August.

Cerulli writes that, for the first time, ETFs are viewed by asset managers as the largest opportunity among investment vehicles, taking a lead over institutional separate accounts, which had been viewed as the largest opportunity.

“Most product development in ETFs is occurring in the transparent active wrapper, which appears to have won the battle over semi-transparent structures. However, opinions still stand that low-liquidity strategies such as small-cap equity will need to use semi-transparent structures to effectively reallocate throughout the year. Strategy replications across vehicle structures lead product development plans when compared to building out new strategies for several vehicles, including ETFs, separate accounts, and collective investment trusts (CITs),” Cerulli reports.

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