Russell Planning Major ETF Push

by on October 5, 2010 | ETFs Mentioned:

As the ETF industry continues to expand at an impressive rate, many companies that were tangentially related to exchange-traded funds have begun to see the promise of issuing their own products in the rapidly growing market. Russell Investments, perhaps best known as the index provider behind some of the world’s most popular ETFs, is one such example. The firm, which is a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual, currently has close to $4.3 trillion in assets benchmarked to its indexes and accounts for close to two-thirds of U.S. equity products benchmarked by U.S. institutional investors.

When we first told you about Russell’s plans to enter the ETF world, it was was with a series of nine ‘One World’ ETFs that sliced and diced the global equity market in a number of different ways. The company also filed with the SEC for two more ETFs, one which targets the large caps in developed markets besides the U.S. and a similar fund for emerging markets. Russell has continued to lay the groundwork for a venture into the ETF industry, recently filing details on another nine “One World” ETFs targeting the ex-U.S. market [see The Guide To Small Cap International ETFs].

Russell has also filed for eight fundamentally-driven ETFs:

  • Russell Aggressive Growth ETF (AGRG)
  • Russell Consistent Growth ETF (CONG)
  • Russell Growth at a Reasonable Price ETF (GRPC)
  • Russell Contrarian ETF (CNTR)
  • Russell Equity Income ETF (EQIN)
  • Russell Low P/E ETF (LWPE)
  • Russell Small & Mid Cap Defensive Value ETF (no ticker available yet)
  • Russell Small Cap Defensive Value ETF (no ticker available yet)

Russell is also planning to launch five more funds targeting equities using a more technical approach [also read Guide To ETF Technical Analysis]:

  • Russell 1000 Low Beta ETF (LBTA)
  • Russell 1000 High Beta ETF (HBTA)
  • Russell 1000 Low Volatility ETF (LVOL)
  • Russell 1000 High Volatility ETF (HVOL)
  • Russell 1000 High Momentum ETF (HMTM)

Russell seems poised to make a major splash in the ETF space in the not-so-distant future, potentially introducing more than two dozen equity funds in coming months. If Russell launches all of the proposed funds currently making their way through the approval process, the firm could immediately have a larger ETF presence–by number of funds, at least–than all but a handful of existing issuers. It appears as if the race for ETF market share is continuing to accelerate and is likely to remain tense well into 2011 as more companies see the promise and inevitable rise of the exchange traded fund.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.