Growing numbers of investors want exchange traded fund managers to offer products based on new indices instead of conventional market cap benchmarks, according to Edhec-Risk Institute, part of Edhec Business School.

In its European ETF survey 2011, released on Monday, Edhec reported 39 per cent of survey respondents saying that they would like to see ETFs based on new indices, up from 29 per cent in the previous year’s survey.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of those surveyed by Edhec thought that ETFs should remain as beta producing products while 39 per cent said ETFs could be more widely used to track niche markets.

But Edhec found only limited interest among investors in the development of active ETFs.

“Actively managed ETFs are not important to our respondents – only 11 per cent think that ETFs should shift from passive to active”.

Top of the wish list for investors was emerging market equity ETFs with 47 per cent of respondents saying they would like new product developments in this area, although that number had fallen from 52 per cent in last year’s survey.

Emerging market bond ETFs also featured strongly on investors’ wish list with 38 per cent looking for new developments in this area, up from 37 per cent in last year’s survey.

Edhec suggested this was a recognition that many of the sovereign debt problems faced by investors in developed markets could be somewhat mitigated by investing in emerging market bonds.

Edhec’s survey also found only 1 per cent thought their ETF usage would decline but that 63 per cent of investors planned to increase their use of ETFs. The proportion expecting to increase their use of other indexing products was much smaller with just 25 per cent expecting to increase exposure to futures, 12 per cent expecting to use more total return swaps and only 22 per cent expecting to allocate more to index funds.

Edhec surveyed 174 institutional investment managers and private wealth managers for the 2011 European ETF Survey.

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