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Inaugural TrackInsight Global ETF Survey reveals selector priorities and future adoption trends worldwide

Monday, June 29, 2020
Opalesque Industry Update - TrackInsight, the global independent ETF analytics platform, has announced the results of the TrackInsight Global ETF survey 2020, supported by IHS Markit and iShares by BlackRock.

This first edition of what will be an annual report, polled more than 300 professional investors from 17 countries, making it one of the most comprehensive surveys of its kind in the world. Respondents oversee a total of $277bn in ETF assets, roughly 5% of the global ETF market, and more than half of those have over 20% of their total portfolio invested in ETFs.

As these results were collected from investors during the first half of May 2020, several weeks into the unprecedented market turmoil precipitated by COVID-19, this year's survey provides a particularly interesting snapshot of how investors view ETFs in times of extreme market stress.

Key findings of this year's survey include:

• Fund liquidity is the primary concern for professional investors when selecting ETFs

o More than 80% consider liquidity to be a 'very important' or 'important' criteria o Liquidity of the underlying securities is less of a priority, with 61% ranking this 'important' or higher

o Trading spreads seen as the most relevant measure of ETF liquidity

• Confidence in ETFs during times of market stress is high

o Only 7% believe concentration of AUM in ETFs poses a systemic liquidity risk for the overall market

o 55% believe ETFs provide additional liquidity during volatile markets

• Fixed income ETFs are in demand

o While bond ETFs still account for only 18% of total ETF AUM, they represented nearly 43% of new inflows in 2019

o 62% of investors found bond ETFs easier to trade in times of market stress than the underlying bonds

• Familiar product trends continue to gather pace, though in some cases significant exposure is still to come

o 73% of those surveyed use ESG ETFs, but just 7% have portfolio exposure of morethan 21%

o 69% of respondents currently use active ETFs, though of those only around a quarter report exposure above 10% of their portfolio

o 81% of investors have thematic ETFs in their portfolio, with 38% having exposure of more than 5%

o 70% reported using smart beta or factor ETFs, with nearly 30% reporting portfolio exposure over 10%

Jean-René Giraud, founding C.E.O. of TrackInsight observes that "At TrackInsight our mission is to bring greater transparency and understanding to the ETF ecosystem worldwide, and our objective with this survey was to build a more definitive picture of the ETF investing community and help the industry move away from anecdotal evidence and guesswork.

The strength of TrackInsight's reach across the global buy-side community puts us in a unique position to collect this valuable data on their true motivations and priorities when it comes to ETFs."

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