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ETFs Non-Player in 401ks, CITs Gaining Attention


BOSTON, MA, October 23, 2015 -- The October 2015 issue of The Cerulli Edge - U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition examines institutional product use. The Monthly Spotlight analyzes institutional product development plans.

Highlights from this research:

  • A recent Cerulli survey shows more ETF sponsors are focusing distribution efforts on small- and mid-sized defined contribution (DC) plans (those with assets less than $250 million). As the online advice delivery market is flourishing, there has been a revived effort to bring ETFs to DC plans. The DC space may become an area of focus for these firms, especially in areas such as micro plans.
  • The recent decline in mutual fund assets during 3Q 2015 (down 7.2% since June month-end) can be largely attributed to retreating equity markets. ETF assets also fell during September, dropping by 2.2% to finish the month at $1.96 trillion. Flows were a notable bright spot for the vehicle as they rebounded from a tepid August, reaping $16.7 billion in September.
  • Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) are gaining more attention overall in the industry. The commingling of assets enables CIT sponsors to capitalize on economies of scale, thereby offering lower costs, better risk management, and more flexible investment opportunities. Cerulli recommends that asset managers and consultants educate themselves on the potential benefits that CITs may offer their clients as they strive to become vehicle-agnostic in increasingly competitive institutional markets.

About Cerulli Associates

Headquartered in Boston with offices in London and Singapore, Cerulli Associates is a global analytics firm that provides financial institutions with guidance in strategic positioning and new business development. Our analysts blend industry knowledge, original research, and data analysis to bring perspective to current market conditions and forecasts for future developments.

Cerulli's research product line includes Cerulli Reports, The Cerulli Edge series, and Cerulli Lodestar.


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