ETF Closures Fall Sharply in April

But fund closures are on a record pace this year.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

Fewer exchange-traded funds were shuttered in April compared to each of the previous two months, despite a decline in major indexes.

Only eight funds closed in April, down sharply from the 18 that closed in March and far fewer than the 39 funds that dissolved in February. The figure is also a drop from the 21 ETFs that liquidated in April 2023, according to etf.com data. 

Still, ETF closures are on a record-setting pace this year. In 2023, closures hit a three-year high of 246 ETFs shuttered, which was up from 147 the year prior in 2022. Yet in the first four months of 2024, there have been 91 closures, while during the same period last year there were 83.

ESG Fund Closures

The environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-focused FlexShares ESG & Climate Emerging Markets Core Index Fund (FEEM) and iMGP RBA Responsible Global Allocation ETF (IRBA) closed, the former with just $4.6 million in assets under management after only two years of trading. IRBA also started just 28 months ago. 

The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq sank more than 4% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 5%, according to Bloomberg data, as investors fretful about inflation and geo-political uncertainties veered away from risk-on assets. The declines followed solid, first-quarter gains for the three, major indexes. 

The majority of ETFs are closed due to a lack of investor interest and poor performance in the market, according to etf.com's Sumit Roy. Around the two-year mark is the benchmark at which many issuers decide to put a fund out to pasture that has failed to gain momentum, he explained.

Last year a record 529 new funds hit the market—up from 419 in 2022 and 475 in 2021.

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.