A line of exchange traded funds (ETFs) have undergone a “name simplification,” but behind the scenes, it’s business as usual.

Market Vectors’ family of municipal bond funds have erased the Lehman name from its portfolios.

Index Universe staff reports that the shortened names for the muni bond ETFs coincide with a stock split already completed on the funds. The moves will simplify marketing and hopefully increase the attractiveness of the funds.

Only the names have changed, but the underlying indexes are the same as well as the investments’ objectives. Adam Phillips, the managing director of Market Vectors, said the move made sense now that Lehman has folded into another company.

Having the “Lehman” name in the title of an ETF is no cause for concern. Indexes are licensed to ETF providers, and Lehman Brothers happens to be the largest provider of fixed income indexes. Lehman simply decides how the index is constructed and which debt securities go into a certain index. Unlike exchange traded notes (ETNs), which are as good as the credit of the issuer, ETFs don’t share their risk of default.

There are 52 Lehman fixed income indexes. ETFs are based upon the Lehman indexes because the provider of these ETFs has licensed the Lehman index for its fixed income products in order to construct, manage, and maintain what goes into the ETF.

Note that the drop-off point indicates a share split. The new names for the ETFs are as follows:

  • Market Vectors Long Municipal Bond Index (MLN), down 14.2% since Jan. 10 inception

Municipal Bond Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

  • Market Vectors Intermediate Municipal Index (ITM), down 6% year-to-date

Municipal Bond Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

  • Market Vectors Short Municipal Index (SMB), down 1% since Feb. 28 inception

Municipal Bond Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

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