ETF Launches Strong in 2022

But they’re still trailing 2021 through the third quarter.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Last year saw more exchange-traded fund launches than any prior year. It came on the heels of a previous record-breaking year.  

What’s remarkable about this year, however, is that it has largely kept up with 2021 despite a brutal bear market, geopolitical chaos, spiking global inflation and a looming threat of recession (or actual recession for some countries).  

When the third quarter closed out on Friday, the count for launches for the year stood at 319. That’s almost as many as the 334 ETFs that rolled out in the first three quarters of 2021. Not too shabby when you consider the year’s chaotic backdrop so far. 

The most notable feature of the year-to-date launches is the fact that new actively managed ETFs continue to outnumber passively managed ETFs, maintaining that roughly 60/40 split that has held fairly steady since last year.  

Newcomer BondBloxx, an issuer that specializes in fixed income strategies and that made its debut this year, has been one of the most prolific issuers of 2022, rolling out 19 ETFs, more than any other issuer. Among other notable newcomers were Capital Group, Neuberger Berman and Alliance Bernstein, all major investment managers that entered the ETF market for the first time with actively managed funds. 

And this year, seen for the first time, were single-stock ETFs, which debuted in July. So far, a total of 26 have launched this year, the vast majority of which offer leveraged or inverse exposure to U.S.-listed stocks, though one fund offered by Innovator ETFs offers hedged exposure to Tesla Inc. BondBloxx’s major push into the ETF market and the advent of single-stock ETFs have made significant contributions to the brisk pace of launches this year. 

Closures have also been going fairly strong, standing at 115 through the end of September. That compares with 79 closures for all of 2021, which was the slowest year for closures in roughly a decade, and which came on the heels of a record-breaking 2020 that saw 275 closures. 



Contact Heather Bell at [email protected] 

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.