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Three Quarters of the Way There

NYSE Active ETF Updates

2021 Recap: A Year to Remember

January 18, 2022

With 2021 in the books, let’s revisit the five bold predictions for active ETFs that the New York Stock Exchange made at the beginning of the year:

  1. Assets under management (AUM): Grow from $172.8 billion at the start of the year to exceed $300 billion by year-end 2021.
  2. Full-year cash flow: Leapfrog 2020’s record of $60 billion and rise to over $70 billion.
  3. Mutual fund to ETF conversions: 5+ issuers convert, totaling over $40 billion in AUM.
  4. Active semi-transparent: 25 ETFs will launch and assets will exceed $2.5 billion.
  5. Growth milestone: At least 1 issuer will eclipse $50 billion in AUM.

How did these predictions end up?

  • Assets ended the year at $293.1 billion, just shy of our $300 billion prediction and up 70% year-over-year.
  • Full-year cash flow far exceeded our prediction, ending the year at $90.1 billion. That’s $30 billion more than 2020’s record and 3.25 times more than 2018.
  • Five separate issuers launched 14 new active ETFs via conversion from legacy mutual funds with the NYSE. In addition to two launched elsewhere, combined assets were $42.0 billion, another win for our predictions.
  • 24 new active semi-transparent ETFs came to market during 2021, narrowly missing our prediction. Meanwhile assets far exceeded our expectations, growing to $5.6 billion, up nearly 5x from the end of 2020.
  • Newcomer DFA further solidified its entry into the market, ending the year as the asset leader with $45.2 billion and narrowly beating First Trust ($44.9 billion). Moral of the story-no $50 billion club this year.

Two for five with a few narrow misses is a tough pill to swallow. All told, though, 2021 was a year of remarkable growth and expansion for the active ETF market.

Beyond our bold predictions, here are a few additional stats that stood out to us:

  • Number of years the Active ETF market exceeded 10% of total industry cash flow: 2 years (2020 & 2021). In fact, during 2021, active ETFs accounted for 10% of total industry CF despite being only 4% of total assets.
  • % of cash flow going to active ETFs priced over the active market average of 0.49%: 60%. These ETFs accumulated $54.2 billion in cash flow, surpassing their market share of 47% of assets.
  • Firms with postive cash flow: 136 firms, or all but 10 firms.
  • Active ETFs with postive cash flow: 624 active ETFs, or nearly 85% off all ETFs.
  • Active ETFs launched: 294 active ETFs launched and $61.0 billion in new assets.
  • Most commonly launched ETFs by category: Domestic equity ETFs, 140 launched and $41.8 billion in new assets.

The Growth of Active ETFs

Source: Factset as of 12/31/2021

Despite back-to-back quarter quarters with a year-over-year drop in quarterly cash flow, the industry finished 2021 with $90.1 billion in new flows and exceeded 2020’s record by $30 billion. All asset classes grew during the year with equity flows of $46.1 billion leading the way. Notably, domestic oriented strategies surpassed their global counterparts for the first time in two years and notched a record year. This was likely a result of the continued outperformance of the US equity market as well as a pullback in the ARK growth story we chronicled throughout 2020. Region-agnostic, thematic ETFs (i.e., Innovation, Cannabis, Fintech Revolution, Future Health, etc.) led the way in equity supported by income, inflation, and core equity focused style ETFs as well as ESG strategies. Fixed income flows of $30.7 billion favored global mandates with continued interest in senior loan portfolios, municipals as well as ultra and short-term ETFs. Commodities at $10.1 billon experienced a record year, led by broad commodity portfolios, new carbon strategies and the industry’s first bitcoin linked futures ETFs.

Active ETF Fund Flows by Asset Class

  Int'l/Global Equity Domestic Equity Domestic Fixed Income Int'l/Global Fixed Income Commodities Asset Allocation Alternatives Currency
AUM Leader DFA ARK First Trust JPMorgan Invesco ETC First Trust WisdomTree
AUM Leader $B $34.2 $30.5 $20.6 $23.8 $4.3 $2.5 $0.7 $0.05
2021 CF Leader JPMorgam ARL State Street JPMorgan BlackRock ETC Simplify Van Eck
2021 CF $B $5.5 $8.2 $6.5 $5.7 $2.7 $01.1 $0.2 $0.01
Q4 CF Leader Nuveen DFA First Trust BlackRock ProShares WisdomTree First Trust Va Eck
Q4 CF Leader $B $3.3 $1.1 $1.3 $0.9 $1.6 $0.4 $0.1 $0.01

Source: Factset as of 12/31/2021

At the issuer level, ARK officially ceded the cash-flow crown and fell to the third spot. JPMorgan, which led third-quarter inflows with $3.7 billion and had year-to-date flows totaling $11.7 billion became the 2021 cash-flow king. Its success was driven by a combination of ongoing growth in the domestic fixed income business ($6.0 billion) and newfound strength in an equities business ($5.8 billion) that welcomed five new ETFs in 2021. Rounding out the top five were First Trust ($10.4 billion), ARK ($8.2 billion), State Street ($6.9 billion) and BlackRock ($6.9 billion). Narrowly missing the top 5 were asset leader and mutual fund to ETF conversion pioneer DFA ($5.8 billion) and core product producer American Century ($5.0 billion). Collectively, the top five issuers accounted for 49% of cash flow — 19% lower than at the end of 2020.

Top 5 Issuers by Cash Flow Annually (2017- 2021)

Source: Factset as of 12/31/2021

Across the industry during 2021, all except 10 issuers experienced neutral or positive cash flows, with 55 seeing inflows exceed $100 million and 18 surpassing $1 billion. Nuveen ($3.3 billion), Invesco ($2.8 billion), Amplify ($2.0 billion), AdvisorShares ($1.7 billion), Quadratic ($1.7 billion), ProShares ($1.6 billion) KraneShares ($1.4 billion), Fidelity ($1.3 billion), ETC ($1.3 billion), Innovator ($1.3 billion) and Roundhill (1.0 billion) all surpassed the $1 billion cash-flow mark. A few other notable year-over-year growers include, Simplify ($837 million, 10x 2020 flows), Horizon Kinetics ($810 million, 2021 entrant), Nationwide ($760 million, 6x 2020 flows), Vanguard ($510 million, 13x 2020 flows) and Main Management ($325 million, 63x 2020 flows).

At the product level, 85% of active ETFs experienced positive flows for the year and nearly 65% experienced positive cash flows during the fourth quarter. Through the year, 198 ETFs exceeded $50 million in cash flow (often viewed as a break-even measure for an ETF), representing 26% of all active ETFs. Additionally, unlike the broader ETF industry, those ETFs priced at the lowest range aren’t dominating flows. In 2021, ETFs priced at or above the active ETF market average of 0.49 bps secured 60% of the flows.

Expense Ratio12/31 AUM2021 CF% AUM% CF# ETFs
0-25 bps$87,374,075,026$18,831,971,24430%21%77
26-50 bps $72,558,881,206$19,246,885,69425%21%157
51-75 bps$80,676,145,666$31,770,775,65128%35%199
76 bps +$52,446,588,657$20,149,229,78118%22%315

The 2021 product level cash-flow crown goes to State Street’s SPDR Blackstone Senior Loan ETF ($6.8 billion). The fourth-quarter crown goes to Nuveen’s Growth Opportunities ETF ($3.3 billion). It also became the industry’s first, and only, ETF to date leveraging a novel structure that shields alpha generation (NYSE Active Proxy Structure) to surpass $1 billion in cash flows.

Ticker Top 10 ETFs by Cash Flow ($B)YTD 2021 ($M)
SRLN SPDR Blackstone Senior Loan ETF $6,756
JEPI JPMorgan Equity Premium Income ETF $5,443
ARKK ARK Innovation ETF $4,767
NUGONuveen Growth Opportunities ETF $3,275
JPSTJPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF $2,982
COMT iShares U.S. ETF Trust iShares GSCI Commodity Dynamic Roll Strategy ETF $2,392
PDBC Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 ETF $2,144
FPE First Trust Preferred Securities & Income ETF $2,102
FTSLFirst Trust Senior Loan Fund $1,800
IVOLQuadratic Interest Rate Volatility & Inflation Hedge ETF $1,656
Ticker Top 10 ETFs by Cash Flow ($B)Q4 2021 ($M)
NUGONuveen Growth Opportunities ETF$3,263
JEPI JPMorgan Equity Premium Income ETF $1,822
BITOProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF$1,613
SRLN SPDR Blackstone Senior Loan ETF $1,369
METARoundhill Ball Metaverse ETF $871
AVUVAvantis U.S. Small Cap Value ETF $589
DFSDDimensional Short-Duration Fixed Income ETF $577
MSOSAdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF $513
DFACDimensional U.S. Core Equity 2 ETF $492
FPEFirst Trust Preferred Securities & Income ETF $488
Ticker Bottom 10 ETFs by Cash Flow YTD 2021 ($M)
FTSM First Trust Enhanced Short Maturity ETF $(858)
MINTPIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF $(576)
VNLAJanus Henderson Short Duration Income ETF $(292)
TOTLSPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF $(267)
DFEBFT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Deep Buffer ETF - February $(229)
AWTMAware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF $(180)
GSYInvesco Ultra Short Duration ETF $(156)
LBMSFirst Trust Low Duration Opportunities ETF $(150)
FTSDFranklin Liberty Short Duration U.S. Government ETF $(133)
ULTRIQ Ultra Short Duration ETF $(96)
Ticker Bottom 10 ETFs by Cash Flow Q3 2021 ($M)
ARKG ARK Genomic Revolution ETF $(920)
IVOL Quadratic Interest Rate Volatility & Inflation Hedge ETF $(836)
MINTPIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF $(676)
ARKKARK Innovation ETF $(663)
ARKWARK Next Generation Internet ETF $(573)
ARKF ARK Fintech Innovation ETF $(525)
LMBSFirst Trust Low Duration Opportunities ETF $(442)
ARKQ ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF $(335)
CLSMCabana Target Leading Sector Moderate ETF $(193)
VNLA Janus Henderson Short Duration Income ETF $(139)

As the active market enters its 15th year, its prospects are quite bright. Asset managers continue to recognize the benefits of the ETF wrapper and have more entry choices than ever. With the mutual to ETF conversions path paved during a historic 2021 and an increased choice of multiple structures that shield their alpha generation techniques, albeit in limited asset scope, we will be watching how the industry approaches evolving distribution dynamics, continued product proliferation and increased investor adoption.

Bold predictions for 2022

  1. AUM: Grow from $293.1 billion to exceed $425 billion by year-end 2022.
  2. Full-year cash flow: Another new record with over $80 billion.
  3. Mutual fund to ETF conversions: 10+ issuers will complete Mutual Fund to ETF conversations totaling over $20 billion.
  4. Active semi-transparent: 20+ ETFs will launch and assets will exceed $10 billion.
  5. Growth milestone: At least 1 issuer will eclipse $60 billion in AUM.

Launch Monitor - Full Year 2021 & Q4

Full year launch monitor

Domestic Equity
140 ETFs Launched
$41.8 B Assets Raised
Domestic Fixed Income
35 ETFs Launched
$1.4 B Assets Raised
8 ETFs Launched
$1.5 B Assets Raised
Int'l/Global Equity
67 ETFs Launched
$13.6 B Assets Raised
Int'l Global Fixed Income
14 ETF Launched
$1.3 B Assets Raised
Asset Allocation
26 ETFs Launched
$1.2 B Assets Raised


Domestic Equity
30 ETFs Launched
$799 M Assets Raised
Domestic Fixed Income
7 ETFs Launched
$457 M Assets Raised
3 ETFs Launched
$1.2 B Assets Raised
Int'l/Global Equity
26 ETFs Launched
$950 M Assets Raised
Int'l Global Fixed Income
6 ETF Launched
$946 M Assets Raised
Asset Allocation
9 ETFs Launched
$167 M Assets Raised

Active ETF Stat Pack

# of Issuers162
# of New Issuers 202169
# of ETFs749AUM ($B)$292.99
# of New Launches 20212923 Yr AUM CAGR163%
Avg. ER0.49%5 Yr AUM CAGR60%
Cash FlowTrading
YTD Cash Flow ($B)$90.00YTD ADV (Shares)72,928,455
3 Yr Cash Flow$176.50YTD ADV ($)$3.91 B
5 Yr Cash Flow$218.70YTD Avg. Spread (bps)*29.64

Source: Factset & NYSE Internal Database and Consolidated Tape Statistics as of 12/31/2021

*Simple average

Active, Semi-Transparent Update

TickerInceptionNameAUMYTD Flows30 Day Median Spread (bps)ADV (shares)StructureLMMExpense RatioListing
EQOP9/17/20Natixis U.S. Equity Opportunities ETF$10,380,871$(3,887,723)16.381,284NYSE AMSCitadel0.90%NYSE
VNSE9/17/20Natixis Vaughan Nelson Select ETF$6,431,577$(835,373)15.871,339NYSE AMSCitadel0.80%NYSE
VNMC9/17/20Natixis Vaughan Nelson Mid Cap ETF$8,891,969$184,51916.412,053NYSE AMSCitadel0.85%NYSE
ESGA7/15/20American Century Sustainable Equity ETF$166,221,000$20,515,64314.469,205NYSE AMSCitadel0.39%NYSE
MID7/15/20American Century Mid Cap Growth Impact ETF$26,330,906$17,260,39715.472,609NYSE AMSCitadel0.45%NYSE
ESGY7/1/21American Century Sustainable Growth ETF$7,416,912$1,359,2118.791,361NYSE AMSCitadel0.39%NYSE
NDVG8/5/21Nuveen Dividend Growth ETF$6,636,000$1,022,8187.62,704NYSE AMSCitadel0.64%NYSE
NSCS8/5/21Nuveen Small Cap Select ETF$6,785,402$1,555,98811.833,010NYSE AMSCitadel0.85%NYSE
NWLG8/5/21Nuveen Winslow Large-Cap Growth ESG ETF$6,386,400$1,039,5947.642,537NYSE AMSCitadel0.64%NYSE
NUGO9/28/21Nuveen Growth Opportunities ETF$3,338,188,470$3,274,891,9987.651,952,398NYSE AMSCitadel0.55%NYSE
SAEF11/16/21Schwab Ariel ESG ETF$8,204,150$8,213,17623.1914,464NYSE AMSFlow Traders0.59%NYSE
FDG4/2/20American Century Focused Dynamic Growth ETF$212,042,051$(27,667,231)15.0124,366ActiveSharesCitadel0.45%Cboe BZX
FLV4/2/20American Century Focused Large Cap Value ETF$237,374,132$42,729,02714.4211,016ActiveSharesCitadel0.42%Cboe BZX
CFCV5/28/20ClearBridge Focus Value ETF$3,711,883$(15,766)35.5412ActiveSharesGTS0.50%Cboe BZX
FBCG6/4/20Fidelity Blue Chip Growth ETF$514,336,958$255,448,08818.92158,354Fidelity ProxyGTS0.59%Cboe BZX
FBCV6/4/20Fidelity Blue Chip Value ETF$104,570,220$47,932,97818.7738,873Fidelity ProxyGTS0.59%Cboe BZX
FMIL6/4/20Fidelity New Millennium ETF$62,241,690$32,757,23321.3223,656Fidelity ProxyGTS0.59%Cboe BZX
FGRO2/4/21Fidelity Growth Opportunities ETF$58,456,440$55,921,9905.1142,452Fidelity ProxyCitadel0.59%Cboe BZX
FMAG2/4/21Fidelity Magellan ETF$56,436,903$46,555,45012.2330,355Fidelity ProxyRBC0.59%Cboe BZX
FPRO2/4/21Fidelity Real Estate Investment ETF$23,270,280$17,214,4407.2611,417Fidelity ProxyCitadel0.59%Cboe BZX
FSMO2/4/21Fidelity Small/Mid-Cap Opportunities ETF$32,283,625$27,251,87813.8716,425Fidelity ProxyRBC0.59%Cboe BZX
FSST6/17/21Fidelity Sustainability U.S. Equity ETF$6,154,693$3,764,64511.975,566Fidelity ProxyRBC0.59%NYSE
FDWM6/17/21Fidelity Women's Leadership ETF$3,149,985$1,025,13513.621,573Fidelity ProxyRBC0.59%NYSE
TCHP8/5/20T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth ETF$272,984,526$182,982,93910.9554,204T Rowe ProxyVirtu0.57%NYSE
TDVG8/5/20T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth ETF$126,786,989$72,934,8568.4216,574T Rowe ProxyRBC0.50%NYSE
TEQI8/5/20T. Rowe Price Equity Income ETF$57,776,680$27,755,60310.938,663T Rowe ProxyVirtu0.54%NYSE
TGRW8/5/20T. Rowe Price Growth Stock ETF$50,357,330$18,814,31610.126,304T Rowe ProxyRBC0.52%NYSE
TSPA6/8/21T. Rowe Price U.S. Equity Research ETF$23,234,682$5,849,7419.812,545T Rowe ProxyRBC0.52%NYSE
IVDG12/22/20Invesco Focused Discovery Growth ETF$1,246,154$(170,980)14.641,959Invesco ModelCitadel0.59%Cboe BZX
IVSG12/22/20Invesco Select Growth ETF$1,397,214$21,01014.611,740Invesco ModelCitadel0.48%Cboe BZX
IVLC12/22/20Invesco US Large Cap Core ESG ETF$7,168,455$5,032,20013.253,118Fidelity ProxyCitadel0.48%Cboe BZX
IVRA12/22/20Invesco Real Assets ESG ETF$2,405,935$877,11036.262,122Fidelity ProxyCitadel0.59%Cboe BZX
LOPP2/1/21Gabelli Love Our Planet & People ETF$11,325,930$6,976,50041.511,727ActiveSharesGTS0.90%NYSE
GGRW2/16/21Gabelli Growth Innovators ETF$4,135,090$1,302,86521.55498ActiveSharesGTS0.90%NYSE
FRTY3/1/21Alger Mid Cap 40 ETF$38,750,000$35,126,50040.3921,154ActiveSharesVirtu0.60%NYSE
ATFV5/4/21Alger 35 ETF$13,581,250$12,845,00038.476,115ActiveSharesVirtu0.55%NYSE
REIT2/26/21ALPS Active REIT ETF$26,883,062$22,977,40017.637,388Blue TractorGTS0.68%NASDAQ
STNC3/16/21Stance Equity ESG Large Cap Core ETF$39,638,832$6,379,82925.232,297Blue TractorGTS0.85%NYSE
PFUT5/26/21Putnam Sustainable Future ETF$8,897,093$2,025,92233.172,589Fidelity ProxyVirtu0.64%NYSE
PLDR5/26/21Putnam Sustainable Leaders ETF$7,650,921$679,20010.771,985Fidelity ProxyRBC0.59%NYSE
PGRO5/26/21Putnam Focused Large Cap Growth ETF$10,285,438$700,09810.314,382Fidelity ProxyRBC0.55%NYSE
PVAL5/26/21Putnam Focused Large Cap Value ETF$18,910,994$10,093,31829.045,827Fidelity ProxyVirtu0.55%NYSE
HFGO11/9/21Hartford Large Cap Growth ETF$23,467,644$25,000,00021.75160,098Fidelity ProxyCitadel0.59%Cboe BZX
Total/Average $5,629,319,091 $4,237,441,540 17.392,508,6230.60%

Source: Factset & NYSE Internal Database and Consolidated Tape Statistics as of 9/24/2021

*Simple average

December Active ETF Launches

TickerNameIssuerLaunch DateAsset ClassAUM
INNOHarbor Disruptive Innovation ETFHarbor12/2/21Equity$5,442,498
YUMYVanEck Future of Food ETFVanEck12/2/21Equity$2,469,230
AILVAlpha Intelligent - Large Cap Value ETFMt Yale12/2/21Equity$534,432
AILGAlpha Intelligent - Large Cap Growth ETFMt Yale12/2/21Equity$765,831
WLTGWealthTrust DBS Long Term Growth ETFWealthTrust Asset Management LLC12/7/21Asset Allocation$1,295,040
PTRBPGIM Total Return Bond ETFPrudential12/8/21Fixed Income$24,907,850
BKCIBNY Mellon Concentrated International ETFThe Bank of New York Mellon Corp.12/8/21Equity$10,355,652
DEIFSterling Capital Diverse Multi-Manager Active ETFTruist12/14/21Equity$102,200,000
TEMPJPMorgan Climate Change Solutions ETFJPMorgan Chase12/14/21Equity$25,021,500
JHPIJohn Hancock Preferred Income ETFManulife12/15/21Fixed Income$15,164,160
BKESBNY Mellon Sustainable Global Emerging Markets ETFThe Bank of New York Mellon Corp.12/15/21Equity$9,950,050
BKISBNY Mellon Sustainable International Equity ETFThe Bank of New York Mellon Corp.12/15/21Equity$10,221,451
BKUSBNY Mellon Sustainable US Equity ETFThe Bank of New York Mellon Corp.12/15/21Equity$10,237,651
RAYDRayliant Quantitative Developed Market Equity ETFRayliant Investment Research12/16/21Equity$2,542,014
RAYERayliant Quantamental Emerging Market Equity ETFRayliant Investment Research12/16/21Equity$2,534,338
BTHMBlackRock Future U.S. Themes ETFBlackrock12/16/21Equity$5,099,860
UBCBUBC Algorithmic Fundamentals ETFUltra Blue12/16/21Equity$1,260,235
GRZZGrizzle Growth ETFGrizzle12/17/21Equity$758,565
NTKINationwide Russell 2000 Risk-Managed Income ETFNationwide12/17/21Equity$17,640,770
FCSHFederated Hermes Short Duration Corporate ETFFederated Hermes, Inc.12/17/21Fixed Income$25,040,100
VBBValkyrie Balance Sheet Opportunities ETFValkyrie Funds LLC12/15/21Equity$617,860
ZGENGeneration Z ETFEMPIRICAL FINANCE LLC12/16/21Equity$5,247,438
GFGFGuru Favorite Stocks ETFAlpha Architect12/16/21Equity$21,344,904
TMFGMotley Fool Global Opportunities ETFThe Motley Fool12/13/21Equity$643,566,580
TMFMMotley Fool Mid-Cap Growth ETFThe Motley Fool12/13/21Equity$305,728,247
FPAGFPA Global Equity ETFFirst Pacific Advisors LP12/17/21Equity$1,279,000
KDRNKingsbarn Tactical Bond ETFKingsbarn12/21/21Fixed Income$1,878,405
XDECFT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Enhance & Moderate Buffer ETF - DecemberFirst Trust12/20/21Equity$4,621,712
CVARCultivar ETFCultivar Capital, Inc.12/23/21Equity$9,510,488
ICAPInfraCap Equity Income Fund ETFInfraCap12/29/21Equity$3,793,038
EATVVegTech Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETFVegTech LLC12/29/21Equity$2,256,507
PPIAXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETFSR Partners LLC12/30/21Alternatives$1,247,945
Total - 32 New ETFs$1,274,533,350

Source: Factset as of 12/31/2021

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