As an increasing number of financial advisors make use of exchange traded funds (ETFs) for their clients, money managers are seeing the benefits of offering their own line of funds.

The scene has been set: ETFs are gaining so much popularity that the industry is fertile for the continuous launch of new funds and new styles. Though the low cost of ETFs is one of their most appealing benefits, they surely extend far beyond that. [Have ETFs Replaced Stock Picking?]

Financial Advisor reports that Eaton Vance had purchased the assets of Managed ETFs LLC, a developer of intellectual property in the ETF field. The company was co-founded by ETF expert Gary Gastineau, and holds assets, including patents, that could help provide more efficient trading of index ETFs and facilitate the development of actively managed ETFs. [Why Pensions And Wealth Managers Dig ETFs.]

It’s just the latest move in what seems to be one of the industry’s hottest trends.

You’ve got a lot of active-management firms that have been around for a long period that have sat back and watched the ETF industry grow. Now that there is nearly $1 trillion in assets and almost 1,000 ETFs in the United States alone, some big Wall Street firms are realizing that if they don’t strike now, they could miss the boat.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.