The iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG) and the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca: IEFA), two of the original members of the iShares core lineup, have over $7.7 billion in combined assets under management while new core additions, such as the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (NYSEArca: IEUR), appear poised to added to the AUM tally for MSCI-backed ETFs.
ETFs such as EEM and EFA will likely always be among the pillars of funds following MSCI indices, but as Pettit notes, the success of a fund like IEMG speaks to the breadth and depth of the company’s index offerings.
“We don’t just focus on certain well-known indexes. We look at total equity opportunity and try to create a way that those opportunities become investible. What’s striking is that investors are going to our index families to get a broad range of index exposures and are looking to MSCI to become the framework to examine noteworthy opportunities rather than just a single index,” he said.
Another partnership is also helping cement MSCI’s role as a leading index provider. The company is the provider of indices for all 10 of the Fidelity sector ETFs that debuted last October. Each of those funds charge just 0.12% per year, making the lineup the least expensive sector ETF collection on the market.
That helped the group top $1 billion in combined AUM last month. At the end of June, five the Fidelity sector ETFs, including the Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: FENY) and the Fidelity MSCI Health Care Index ETF (NYSEArca: FHLC), had over $100 million in AUM. [Fidelity ETFs Race to $1B in AUM]
“Fidelity is also a nice story about someone not traditionally in ETF business who’s found that this can fill an interesting strategic opportunity for them. We’ve been delighted to work with them,” said Pettit. “The ETF market isn’t monolithic. It’s not just about a few simple broad market exposures. ETFs can do specific things for specific investors and managers.”
Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM, EFA and IEMG.