Van Eck Leads ETF Issuer Growth This Year

Van Eck Leads ETF Issuer Growth This Year

Demand for ETFs ran the gamut in 2016, and ETF issuers saw their asset base grow—or drop—significantly.

Reviewed by: Cinthia Murphy
Edited by: Cinthia Murphy

In 2016, demand for ETFs ran the gamut from everything from gold to fixed income to emerging market equities to U.S. stocks at some point during the year. ETF issuers faced creations—and sizable redemptions—throughout the year in various funds.

Now, as 2016 nears the end, it’s interesting to see which ETF issuers gained the most, and which ones lost serious ground. The top three providers—iShares, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors—each saw asset growth and maintained their lead; no surprises here.

Van Eck Leads Asset Growth

Notably, the firm with the most impressive asset growth in 2016 was Van Eck, which saw a 50% jump in assets under management in under 12 months.

The issuer behind 58 ETFs in the market today started the year as the 11th-largest ETF provider in the country, with roughly $18.9 billion in total assets. Today Van Eck ETF assets are nearing $30 billion—up more than $9 billion since Dec. 30, 2015. The asset gains, which reflect net creations and performance, bumped Van Eck up two spots in our ETF League Table, to No. 9.

Leading the firm’s rise were inflows into the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) totaling $3.5 billion year-to-date. GDX was, in fact, the most popular ETF in 2016 not offered by one of the top three issuers, coming in at No. 23 in the ranking of biggest net creations year-to-date.

The inflows came in hand-in-hand with a massive rally in the fund. GDX is shelling out total returns of nearly 54% so far in 2016, and that’s even after retracing a lot of ground this fall. GDX is Van Eck’s largest ETF today, with $9.5 billion in assets. 

Chart courtesy of


Here are the top ETF issuers ranked by assets, as of Dec. 7, 2016, and some of the trends seen in the space: 


ETF IssuerAUM ($M)
State Street Global Advisors489,314.88
Invesco PowerShares105,234.76
Charles Schwab57,778.46
First Trust40,473.64
Van Eck27,995.80
Deutsche Bank13,177.58



The top 22 most popular ETFs in 2016 in inflows were all from one of the top three ETF issuers, which year after year just seem to increase their dominance in the ETF market.

Other notable growth was seen in the following firms:


On the flip side, some issuers that lost ground:

For a complete ranking of all 75 ETF issuers in the market today, check out our latest ETF League Table.

Contact Cinthia Murphy at [email protected]


Cinthia Murphy is head of digital experience, advocating for the user in all that does. She previously served as managing editor and writer for, specializing in ETF content and multimedia. Cinthia’s experience includes time at Dow Jones and former BridgeNews, covering commodity futures markets in Chicago and Brazil equities in Sao Paulo. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.