VanguardÂ’s rise in the ETF space is the money management version of the classic tortoise and hare fable.

The world's largest mutual fund company arrived relatively late to the ETF game in May 2001, but is on the verge of passing State Street, ranked second according to new data from ETF.com Analytics, in terms of biggest amount of ETF assets under management. (By comparison, State Street began offering ETFs in January 1993; Barclays/BlackRock in March 1996.)

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