Although many in the industry have tipped active exchange-traded funds as the breakthrough product of 2013, this may be wishful thinking, according to a new study by Cerulli Associates.

Yoon Ng, an associate director at Cerulli, said that while ETF sponsors do not expect a wave of growth in active products, this has not stopped them from developing the ETFs. “More than half (57%) of sponsors interviewed plan to develop active fixed-income ETFs and 36% have plans for active equity ETFs," said Ng.

While active ETF providers hope that these products will gain traction in the European market, another of the study's authors, Barbara Wall, a director at Cerulli, throws cold water on this idea. "While active bond ETFs will likely hold their own against low-cost mutual fund competitors, Cerulli doubts whether active equity ETFs will deliver the sustainable performance necessary to become truly embedded,” she said.

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