Two or three years ago, institutional investors primarily used ETFs for tactical purposes, holding them for less than one year. But now they are using them strategically as well, according to the 2013 Greenwich Associates study of trends in institutional usage of ETFs, which was sponsored by iShares.

Institutional investors are now evenly divided in reporting their ETF use as strategic or tactical, with the most commonly-reported usage being passive exposure in core strategies, the survey found. 

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