Today’s Roundtable on State of the ETF Industry

On Dec. 3rd I listened to a 5-person panel discussion entitled – “Roundtable: State of the ETF Industry and What’s Next?” at the IMN “Global Indexing and ETFs Conference.” The panel description noted “Across the globe, exchanged traded funds have captured the interest of investment managers, exchanges and investors. The industry has experienced tremendous growth by the number of products and places they can be found.“ 

The panel’s moderator was James H. Lowell III, Editor-in-Chief, THE FORBES ETF ADVISOR, and Chief Investment Strategist, ADVISER INVESTMENTS.

The panelists, with highlights of some of their comments, were:


  • Jason Nicastro, Senior Research Analyst, LPL FINANCIAL. –  There are many VIX-related products now. Some investors look to reduce portfolio volatility with VIX-related products and managed futures.


  • Deborah Fuhr, Partner & Co-founder, ETFGI – There is much interest worldwide in managing uncertainty and volatility. Before the US election last month, there were uncertainties re: election results, fiscal cliff and Hurricane Sandy, and there were significant ETF fund flows from US-focused ETFs to emerging markets ETFs. 


  • Benjamin T. Fulton, Managing Director of Global ETFs, INVESCO POWERSHARES CAPITAL MANAGEMENT. — We have about $3.5 billion in minimum volatility ETFs. We spend lots of time on product innovation and this week we plan to introduce a new ETF that uses VIX futures. We have gained SEC relief to do daily adjustments to VIX exposures.


  • Dodd Kittsley, Director, Global Head of ETP Research, BLACKROCK. – There continues to be great growth for ETFs, and the investor base continues to get broader.  


  • Tara O’Reilly, Partner, WILLIAM FRY SOLICITORS. – Discussed USITS regulation in Europe.


The CBOE website has a wealth of information on risk management strategies and options on ETFs.