Retail channels continued to drive exchange-traded fund (ETF) growth through the second quarter of 2015, increasing assets in absolute dollars by $265 billion over the past year, and outpacing the $200 billion in long-term mutual fund (LTMF) assets distributed by retail channels, according to data released today by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., (NYSE:BR) via its Fund Distribution Intelligence tool.
More than 87 percent of ETF asset growth in the year ending June 30, 2015 was generated from retail distribution channels, which was led by registered investment advisors (RIAs) with total ETF assets of $496 billion – a $78 billion increase compared to the same period last year. The wirehouse channel moved into second place behind RIAs with total ETF assets of $397 billion, and a $70 billion increase over last year.
"The retail channels drove the growth of ETF assets with a 20 percent increase over last year ending June 30, and almost all of the increase came from retail channels – RIAs, independent broker-dealers, wirehouses and discount broker-dealers," said Frank Polefrone, senior vice president of Broadridge's Access Data product suite. "Retail channels' dominance for ETF asset growth was even more pronounced on a year-over-year basis, with all of the $116 billion of increased ETF assets coming from retail distribution channels."
The largest holders of ETFs are RIAs with $500 billion of ETF assets. The growth of ETFs in the RIA channel continues to outpace all other distribution channels, and the product-type driving this growth over the past year was equity products, representing 88 percent of the net increase in ETF assets. Fixed income ETFs represented 15 percent of the overall net increase during the same period, while commodity ETF assets showed a 4 percent net decline in assets over the same period. Other categories, to include liquid alternatives and allocation funds showed essentially no change in overall assets within the RIA channel over the past year.
Additional findings in the second quarter of 2015:
Broadridge's Fund Distribution Intelligence tool comprises the most complete sales and asset data collection in the industry, creating transparency into more than $9 trillion of long-term mutual fund and ETF assets across 900+ distributors.