Recently, I had the chance to speak with Bruce Bond, the president and chief executive officer of Invesco PowerShares Capital Management, to get his thoughts on major issues in the ETF market today. Since starting out with just two ETFs in 2003, PowerShares has become the ETF industry’s second-largest sponsor in terms of number of funds. Currently, PowerShares is the only ETF provider to offer and actively-managed ETF.
Q: What do you think of the consolidation going on in the ETF industry?
Bond: Consolidation is a natural process of a rapidly growing industry. I’m not surprised by that. It’s actually a healthy thing. Investors are savvy about what they want to participate in. It shows it’s a difficult business to attract assets in and it’s not just as if you can bring anything out and it will sell. You need distribution, marketing and the underlying investment plan to be a sustainable idea.
It’s a natural cleansing of the industry. Investors vote with their dollars and non-feasible concepts just won’t work. It’s a serious and very challenging business.
Q: How do you think ETFs will fare after this bear market?
Bond: I think the ETF will come out of the current environment doing exceptionally well. I believe they have proved to be a very effective investing tool for investors during this market cycle. Investor’s s use of ETFs in this market is establishing the ETF going forward as a mainline investment tool.
Q: What does the near future hold for actively managed funds?
Bond: They tell the same story as Index-based ETFs about flexibility, liquidity, and transparency. And market conditions like this will make them shine ever brighter. Just like it took the SPDR a long time to get traction, it will take the actively-managed ETF a while to get traction.