ETF providers take on pension and sovereign wealth challenge

Pension and sovereign wealth funds are not traditionally big investors in ETFs because of concerns over cost, flexibility and restrictions on buying listed securities. But that may be about to change as providers look to woo big institutional investors. By David Wigan

photo of simon klein of deutsche asset and wealth management
Simon Klein, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management

Of the 3,367 institutional buyers of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across 50 countries in 2012 only 1% was a pension fund, while investment advisers accounted for 60%, according to consultancy ETFGI. Meanwhile few sovereign wealth funds admit to buying ETFs and some are decidedly negative about the products. For example, the $850 billion Government Pension Fund of Norway - the world's largest sovereign wealth fund - states: "The fund does not invest through ETFs."

The most often cited reason for

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