Exchange traded fund managed portfolios provide ETF investors with an additional layer of discipline, strategy, and personality that the ETF industry has lacked.

Since 1993, many institutions, advisors and average investors have come to enjoy ETFs’ liquidity, low fees, tax efficiency and ability to access a broad range of asset classes.

Today, investors have the option to turn ETF asset managers, or “ETF strategists,” for a more up-to-date separate account strategy. The asset managers are like today’s Iron Chefs of the ETF arena. They use ETF ingredients to whip up their own signature dishes. In addition, ETF asset managers have opinions, confidence and provide a human connection that financial advisors can identify with.

I recently kicked off the PowerShares and State Street Global Advisor’s 2nd Annual ETF Asset Manager Summit where I interviewed Michael Stevens, Managing Director and Director of National Sales at State Street Global Advisors, and Bobby Brooks, Senior Vice President and Director of Sales at Invesco PowerShares Capital Management, on this growing segment of the ETF world.

ETF separate accounts are quickly gaining traction as an easy way to track an investment strategy using the ETF vehicle. Wire houses are trying to modernize their separate account portfolios, shifting away from the older commission-based model and moving into fee-based compensation, which aligns with the favorable fee structure of ETF managed portfolios.

A group of ETF managed portfolios tracked by Morningstar now include 645 strategies from 145 firms, with $80 billion in assets under management as of of June 2013. [ETF Managed Portfolios Continue Growth Pattern]