T. Rowe Wants To Play On The ETF Table

December 08, 2009

 

T. Rowe Price is betting that its solid reputation as an active mutual fund manager will help it jump into the exchange-traded fund market.

In a filing this month, T. Rowe asked the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval to launch a family of actively managed ETFs, including U.S. equity, global equity and fixed-income funds.

T. Rowe is looking to join a growing group of mutual fund giants moving into ETFs, including Charles Schwab, Old Mutual, Pimco and others. Schwab in particular launched its first four ETFs in November with the lowest commission fees currently in the market. T. Rowe did not address commission rates in its exemptive relief application.

The jury is still out on actively managed ETFs. While a few have launched, none has yet attracted significant assets. T. Rowe is likely betting that its strong reputation will help it attract assets and build interest in the category.