Invesco’s (NYSE: IVZ) PowerShares unit, the fourth-largest U.S. ETF issuer, introduced the PowerShares NYSE Century Portfolio ETF (NYSEArca: NYCC) today.

With an annual expense ratio of 0.5%, the new ETF will track the NYSE Century Index. That index was launched in July 2012 to recognize U.S.-based companies that have thrived for over a century. To qualify for admission to the index, companies must be incorporated in the U.S. for at least 100 years, have market values of at least $1 billion and be listed on a U.S. exchange, according to NYSE Euronext.

As an equal-weight ETF, NYCC qualifies as a smart beta fund, putting it in one of the fastest-growing segments of the ETF marketplace. In 2013, smart beta ETFs attracted $65.1 billion in new assets, nearly double the $34.2 billion hauled in by the group in 2012. [ETF Inflows Reach Record in 2013]

Illinois-based PowerShares is one of the leading purveyors of intelligent index ETFs. The firm issues some of the largest smart beta ETFs, including the $2.8 billion PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000 Portfolio (NYSEArca: PRF) and the $2.6 billion PowerShares Buyback Achievers Portfolio (NYSEArca: PKW). The bulk of PowerShares’ industry and sector ETFs are also benchmarked to non-cap weighted, intelligent indices. [Institutions to Increase Use of Smart Beta ETFs]

“The PowerShares NYSE Century Portfolio invests in household names that have defined the American economy for more than a century,” said Martin L. Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, in a statement. “We believe NYCC offers investors targeted exposure to companies that have demonstrated the ability to innovate, transform and grow through decades of varying economic cycles, political conditions and social change.”

NYCC is designed as an equal-weight ETF to decrease the fund’s exposure to stocks that may be overvalued while increasing access to those names that are viewed as undervalued.

The NYSE Century Index currently provides exposure to all 10 GICS sectors. Financials currently command a 24% weight in the index while industrials garner 19%. Consumer staples and discretionary,  telecom and materials also receive double-digit weights in the index. Mid-caps are the biggest cap allocation at 48% followed by large-caps at 41%.

In a backtest of the NYSE Century Index ranging from December 2000 to December 2013, the index easily outperformed the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite, according to NYSE Euronext data.