Actively managed exchange traded funds haven’t gained much traction in the investment landscape yet, but some veteran observers expect that to change in 2012 as high-profile managers get in the active ETF game.

Index-tracking ETFs have been “tremendous” for investors because of their low expenses and tradability, Josh Brown, a vice president at Fusion IQ and voice of the Reformed Broker blog, told Yahoo Finance’s Daily Ticker on Tuesday.

However, he’s predicting active ETFs will be a major trend in the coming year.

“I think you’re going to see star managers enter this space,” Brown said. “They see that there’s a ton of money to be raised. It’s going to be the new wrapper of choice.” [Active ETFs Wrestle with Disclosure Issues]

Some index-based ETFs have quasi-active strategies rolled into their benchmarks. For example, they may choose and weight individual stocks or securities based on fundamental or quantitative factors. [Index ETFs Rule Despite Promise of Active Funds]

There are several truly active ETFs on the market with managers making trading decisions. Some have gathered significant inflows, but overall assets remain a tiny fraction of the ETF business. [Legg Mason Files to Launch Bond ETF]