Nearly every trend that has shaped investment markets in recent years has worked in favor of ETFs. This includes global themes such as the shift to self-directed retirement saving; economic factors such as low yields; regulatory efforts around suitability and value for money; technological developments such as digital distribution; and investment themes such as the “shift to passive.”
Supported by these trends, we expect the ETF industry to continue its rapid global expansion, outgrowing the wider asset management industry. Prevailing conditions remain favorable, and the industry retains many innovative characteristics.
Our survey respondents predict ETF asset growth of around 15% per annum for the next three to five years. If anything, we think this understates the industry’s growth potential. We believe global ETF assets could reach US$7.6t by the end of 2020 — equivalent to a CAGR of approximately 18% (13% to 14% of which will come from net new inflows) — driven by the shift to passive, the size of ETFs relative to the overall market and the suitability of ETFs for digital distribution.