Institutional investors held around half of total equity exchang-traded fund assets in 2012, according to a new report from Strategic Insight.

Institutional presence was heaviest among international equity ETFs, beating out ownership by individual investors and financial advisers with holdings of 57% of total assets. Two main reasons for the presence in international equity ETFs: the opportunity to invest in emerging markets and quick exposure to liquidity in emerging wealth regions, said Dennis Bowden, assistant director of U.S. research at Strategic Insight.

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