How The Big 3 ETF Issuers Got So Big

August 29, 2017

First-mover advantage has kept State Street a significant player, even as dozens of competitors have eroded its market share over time. The funds SSGA pioneered clearly continue to drive the company's growth. SPY alone accounts for 44% of the company's total assets, and investors poured $25 billion into it last year, or fully half of the $50 billion of new net inflows into SSGA ETFs. The 10 Select Sector SPDRs accrued $12 billion in 2016, while GLD accounted for $7 billion more.

Together, that's $44 billion, or 88% of the company's total net inflows for 2016 (see Figure 2).

 

Fig. 2: Largest ETFs by Issuer
  Biggest ETF AUM ($B) Total Issuer AUM
SSGA SPY 242.17 44%
Vanguard VTI 81.93 11%
iShares IVV 121.84 10%

 

Source: ETF.com

 

That said, Nick Good, senior managing director and co-head of SSGA's Global SPDR business, embraces the benefits first-mover advantage has provided the company.

"Liquidity draws in more liquidity. And where there's liquidity, you see big institutions making big trades," he said. "You can't be complacent. But that known brand recognition is significant."

 

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