Blackrock is the leading company in the $7 trillion ETF market in terms of assets and new issues. According to Dominik Rohe, the head of BlackRock’s Americas ETF and Index Investments business, active ETFs are a category with significant growth potential.
He notes that the boundary between active and passive ETFs is becoming ambiguous as all types of strategies are now being offered with an ETF wrapper. This is leading to more complex and innovative offerings. In 2023, the firm launched 18 active ETFs with more planned for 2024. According to Rohe, active ETFs currently make up 38% of all US-based ETFs with a total of $101 billion in assets under management. And, they are changing the concept of what an ETF can be from a passive vehicle to a ‘technology that will generate active return’ for investors. To that end, it’s launched active ETFs for alpha, specific goals, and strategies.
Another boost for active ETFs is due to the increase in fee-based financial planning and fiduciary wealth management which is leading to the ascendance of model portfolios. These are typically constructed with ETFs with the category growing at a 15% annual rate. Blackrock is forecasting that total assets in model portfolios will exceed $10 trillion by 2027, more than doubling its current level of $4.5 trillion, leading to more demand for these types of products.
Finsum: Blackrock had an eventful 2023 with a bevy of active ETF launches. It sees continued growth for the category with the continued adoption of model portfolios as a key factor.