Executives at U.S. exchange traded fund providers are getting together to launch the first independent national trade association for the $1.2 trillion business.

The National Exchange Traded Funds Association, or NETFA, will represent and promote the U.S. ETF industry, according to a press release Tuesday.

The group will educate investors on the benefits and uses of ETFs, provide education and commentary, and advance industry issues with regulators and government agencies.

“This is an ideal time for the industry to establish its own industry trade group to represent and promote the ETF sector,” said John Hyland, NETFA chairman.

“Once an industry sector achieves a certain scale, it can no longer depend on ad-hoc efforts by individual companies, or the efforts of non-ETF industry groups, to represent itself to the public or to the regulators,” said Adam Patti, the group’s vice-chairman. “This is the first step in a long journey to establish a professional and coordinated approach to the topics of investor education and industry representation.”

Hyland is the chief investment officer of U.S. Commodity Funds LLC, which manages commodity ETFs. Adam Patti is chief executive of ETF provider IndexIQ.

Over the past five years, assets in U.S.-listed ETFs have grown an average of 24% annually, according to NETFA.

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