Last week amid a swift and sudden surge in the CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, an exchange traded fund that targets “low volatility” equity names saw huge inflows.

PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility (NYSEArca: SPLV) is based on a subset of the S&P 500, investing in 100 equities within the index that have exhibited the lowest levels of realized volatility over the past 12 month period. [ETF Spotlight: Low Volatility Funds]

Currently, the ETF is weighted heavily towards Consumer Staples and Utilities, making up more than 61% of the entire portfolio. Top holdings are S, PG, KMB, K, and ED.

SPLV, which debuted in May of 2011 and has not yet even celebrated its one year anniversary, has amassed over $1.2 billion in assets, and took in well over $300 million just last week.

It seems evident to us that the fund has attracted appeal among managers that want exposure to equities, but with less volatility than the overall market.