The exchange traded fund (ETF) industry is finally getting more attention from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) – something it has been wanting for some time. But it has some in the industry wondering if there aren’t some ulterior motives.

ETF sponsors have often complained that the ICI doesn’t do enough on their behalf, reports Brooke Southall at Investment News, and they’ve wondered if a separate association isn’t in order. Southall’s excellent article reveals that the ICI’s move is seen by many as an effort to head off any possibility a new association developing. The committee is a possible precursor to a separate ETF unit in the organization, according to Jim Ross, managing director of State Street Global Advisors.

The concern on ETF providers’ minds is whether the ICI, as an organization vested primarily in the interest of mutual funds, will actually do enough to meet their needs.

Carl Verboncoeur, Rydex’s CEO, feels strongly that the ETF industry has a need for advocacy. As an involved member of the ICI for many years, he’s looking forward to observing the committee’s progress.

Bruce Bond, CEO of PowerShares, has been appointed chairman of this committee. I’ve known and observed Bruce for a few years now and wouldn’t say that patience is one of his outstanding characteristics. Just take a look at PowerShares’ expanding product line.