Europe ETF Industry Could Grow as Most Active Strategies Underperform

Almost all U.S., global and emerging market active equity funds in Europe underperformed their benchmarks since 2006, bolstering the case for passive, index-based exchange traded funds.

According to S&P Dow Jones, 99% of actively managed U.S. equity funds sold in Europe failed to beat the S&P 500 over the past 10 years while only two in every 100 global equity funds funds outperformed the S&P Global 1200 and almost 97% of emerging market funds underperformed, the Financial Times reports.

“The figures are startling,” Daniel Ung, director of research at S&P Dow Jones Indices, told the Financial Times.

Given the extended underperformance, academics and consumer groups have censured the active fund industry for failing investors. The United Kingdom financial regulator has launched an investigation into the asset management industry to examine fund fees and profitability.

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“These numbers are scary. Active managers need a root and branch look at their investment processes to retain their relevance in today’s surreal investment landscape,” Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create Research, told the Financial Times.