As investors grow more comfortable with the ETF investment vehicle, people will begin to implement ETFs in more complex strategies.
“The biggest shift is the breadth of investor type,” Samara Cohen, US head of iShares Capital Markets told the FT. “Hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies are looking at ETFs alongside futures and swaps to determine the best economics for their strategy.”
For instance, according to a Greenwich survey, two-thirds of Europe institutions and over three-quarters of U.S. institutions believe an S&P 500 ETF provides more effective beta exposure than S&P 500 futures for a fully funded S&P 500 position, citing ease of use and low costs as the main reason for switching away from equity derivatives.
Meanwhile, as ETF fees fall, the cost to renew or roll futures contracts rose in early 2015 in response to structural market changes and new banking regulations.
As institutional-sized investors shift away from costlier derivative options to hedge their positions, the ETF industry could continue to experienced greater growth from a new group of investors.