The older, wiser, record-breaking ETF

Written by Alex Beveridge 

Even though I have been a fan of ETFs for a long time, I have to admit I was slightly startled when the good people at ETFGI revealed assets invested in ETFs and ETPs have now topped $5.32 trillion. It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, given the versatility of the instruments, however - it does feel like this number has snuck up on us. Anyway, happy 39th anniversary ETFs! Let’s hope life really does begin at 40 for you.

And as my beloved ETF has grown older it has inevitably become more complex. At the end of February 2019 the global ETF/ETP industry had 7,696 ETFs/ETPs from 411 providers, listed on 72 exchanges in 58 countries (thanks again ETFGI for the numbers). Understanding your options has never been more challenging.

Yet, at Institutional Investor, conversations with our communities of asset owners indicate that demand will continue to grow from both the retail and institutional investors. This then begs the question, what is the latest thinking on ETF portfolios?

I have been working on the agenda for the second annual meeting; Future of Index Investing, and my calls with asset allocators over the last few weeks indicate ESG is now a key issue. So, is ESG simply a filter or a factor in its own right?

The issue of ESG has been added into the mix with the usual topics around product selection, addressable liquidity and volatility. And, where do the technological surprises lie within the indexing space?

Last year’s meeting saw 80 asset allocators, brokers, market makers and issuers join the debate in our private, off the record, setting.

See below for some recommendations for the event and if you can’t wait until September, or would like further information, you can visit our website or speak to me – just contact me on the email below.


Alex Beveridge
Institutional Investor


Future of Index Investing – more information here.


"High quality and well thought out event. Topical agenda with insights from leading decision-makers."

Henry Cobbe, CFA - Head of Research, Elston Consulting


"An exceptional event, measured by participation levels with the audience and desire to exchange on challenging change topics for this sector. Difficult to see anyone coming away without either having something to think about, or having learned something material."

Phil Smith, CEO, Embark Group


"The symposium provided important opportunities to network with industry experts from all aspects of the index investing continuum including ETF providers, index providers, traders and asset allocators. This symposium demonstrated the power of the ETF ecosystem coming together for the benefit of investors."

Ken O’Keefe, Managing Director, Global Head of ETFs, FTSE Russell


"Very well organised, professional, a 5* quality of hosting."

Christopher Meyers, Institutional Trader, Flower Traders