“The rapid growth of fixed income ETFs along with further adoption of smart beta strategies could make smart beta fixed income ETFs the next major area of growth for the category,” said Mike Hunnicutt, Head of Institutional ETF Sales at Invesco PowerShares.

The survey also indicates that 57% of institutional investors not currently using smart beta ETFs are somewhat likely to begin doing so over the next three years.

Some new smart beta ETFs are proving successful as well. For example, the PowerShares Russell 1000 Equal Weight Portfolio (NYSEArca: EQAL), which debuted in December, has already hauled in $157.1 million in assets.

The new ETF offers investors an evolved approach to the prosaic equal-weight ETFs that currently populate the market. EQAL tracks the Russell 1000 Equal Weight Index, which applies an equal weight to nine sectors and then assigns an equal weight to each security from those sectors.

Chart Courtesy: PowerShares and Market Strategies International