San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA, September 10,, the leading independent authority on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), together with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), a market leading ETF custodian and administrator, announced today the results of their second “Annual Advisor Survey,” which gauges the market sentiment of ETF-focused financial advisors (FAs).

Among other trends, the survey examines the ETF selection process, the relative value of index brands, which ETF firms have the top reputation for quality, as well as how investors view newly launched ETFs, active and Smart Beta ETFs. 

“Through our daily coverage of news and trends in the ETF market, is talking to financial advisors daily, but this survey is especially important to us because it provides a real, unfiltered view into how advisors are viewing this market,” said Matt Hougan, President of

Shawn McNinch, Senior Vice President and Global Head of ETF Services at BBH agrees, “We are thrilled to work with and help provide new insight into the decision making process of ETF focused financial advisors. As the only survey of its kind, the intelligence gathered here is extremely valuable for the product development and distribution efforts of global ETF sponsors.”

Key results from this year’s data highlight an overall change in advisors’ attitudes toward ETFs:

  • FAs are increasingly comfortable with new ETFs - nearly 65% of advisors would add an ETF to a portfolio within a year of its  launch, up from just over 50% last year.
  • The percentage of FAs with 50% or more of their AUM invested in ETFs and ETNs increased from 19% in 2013 to 32% in 2014.
  • Last year, around 67% of survey participants said they would buy a more expensive ETF if it was linked to a major index. This year, only 59% said they would go with the more expensive option.
  • 49% of respondents bought a Smart Beta ETF in the past year. However, for 57% of respondents, Smart Beta makes up less than 5% of their AUM. for more information on the survey.

Visit for more information on the survey.

About Brown Brothers Harriman

BBH is a privately held financial institution that has been a thought leader and solutions provider for nearly 200 years. We serve the most discerning and sophisticated individuals and institutions across our Investor Services & Markets, Investment Management, and Private Banking businesses.  Our culture of accountability fosters deep and lasting relationships built on commitment, adaptability and trust.

BBH’s Investor Services business provides cross-border custody, accounting, administration, and execution services in close to 100 markets for many of the world’s leading asset managers and financial institutions.  The firm has close to $4 trillion in assets under custody and administration, including $248 billion of ETF assets1.  BBH works in consultation across a broad range of asset managers to introduce a variety of ETFs across the globe, assisting with product strategy, development and launch implementation, and providing industry expertise, product knowledge, technology and flexibility to deliver comprehensive ETF solutions.

BBH operates in seventeen global locations, including New York, Boston, Beijing, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Dublin, Grand Cayman, Hong Kong, Jersey City, Krakow, London, Luxembourg, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Wilmington, and Zürich.  For more information about Brown Brothers Harriman, visit


Founded in 2001, (formerly IndexUniverse) is the world's leading authority on exchange-traded funds. The firm offers investors trusted insights through its leading publications, events, analysis and data. offers investors and advisors the only institutional-caliber research tool designed specifically for ETFs, and delivers the industry's deepest and most insightful coverage online, through its newsletters and in print. also hosts the world's largest events focused on ETFs, including Inside ETFs and Inside ETFs Europe.

1 As of March 31, 2014