The largest ETF providers have been slashing fees on their products to protect market share and stay competitive on cost.
This week, BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said the firm plans to cut expense ratios charged by some of its core-strategy ETFs. [iShares to Cut Some ETF Fees in Fourth Quarter]
In an earnings call earlier this year, Fink acknowledged that iShares was losing assets in large, liquid funds to lower-priced ETFs managed by Vanguard.
“There was hope among sponsors that client service and other intangibles would create loyalty among advisors and help drive flows, but if you’re going after the core business that makes up the most amount of assets, you have to at least be competitive on price,” said Alec Papazian, senior analyst at Cerulli Associates, in an Ignites story Wednesday. “BlackRock is trying to be proactive and at least slow the market share decline.” [ETF Fees: The Lower the Better]
“While many products may appear similar on the surface-with similar industry, holdings, and market cap focuses-the expense ratio can often be the main, and usually key, difference between two products,” says Zacks ETF Research.