A boom in active exchange traded funds is coming, according to a study from SEI. The study contends that increased interest from pension funds, endowments, and other large institutional investors will fuel the growth.

The study cited data from research firm McKinsey & Co., which predicts the assets in active ETFs will soar from the current $12.6 billion to $500 billion by 2020.

"Recently there has been positive movement supporting growth in active ETFs, but the historical roadblocks and lengthy SEC approval process have steered both managers and investors away,” stated Jay Cipriano, head of Traditional Solutions for SEI's Investment Manager Services division.

“If managers can take advantage of these new positive catalysts, active ETFs may not only fuel the next phase of ETF growth, but over time may challenge traditional active mutual funds for market share."