Despite the rapid rise in the popularity of ETFs, some prominent people in the investment community don’t plan to participate. The chief executive of mutual fund giant Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN) is one of them.
Sam Mamudi of Dow Jones Newswires reports that even though Greg Johnson, CEO of Franklin Resources, “thinks ETFs are likely to continue to grow faster than traditional, actively-managed mutual funds, his firm doesn’t plan on entering the space.”
According to Johnson, his company is not interested in “painting by the numbers.” Instead, they want to focus on producing art by way of active management.
In recent years, assets in ETFs have risen from $300 billion to $847 billion at the end of April, according to the National Stock Exchange.
Although the vast majority of the funds are in index tracking passive funds, companies are beginning to look at ways to introduce actively managed ETFs. But in order to do so, the funds “would need to resolve the underlying tension between ETFs’ almost real-time transparency and a fund manager’s ability to buy stocks without alerting the rest of the market.” In that sense, Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard Group, thinks that the requirements of ETFs would detract value from what an active manager could provide.
Sumin Kim contributed to this article.