PowerShares Low Volatility ETF Tops $4B in AUM

Invesco's (NYSE:IVZ) PowerShares unit, the fourth-largest U.S. ETF issuer, said today its popular PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSE:SPLV) has topped $4 billion in assets under management.

At the start of trading Monday, the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio, the dominant U.S.-focused low volatility ETF, had $4.057 billion in assets under management, according to PowerShares data.

"Invesco PowerShares pioneered low-volatility ETFs. We take pride in being first to market with groundbreaking products, and SPLV is a prime example of our ongoing commitment to innovation," said Ben Fulton, Invesco PowerShares managing director of global ETFs, in a statement. "As the flagship low-volatility ETF on the market, SPLV has averaged over $7.6 million in inflows per day since its inception."

SPLV is comprised of the 100 S&P 500 stocks with the lowest trailing 12-month volatility. Top holdings currently include Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS). SPLV's top sector allocations are utilities at 30.74 percent an consumer staples at just over 20 percent. Financial services names account for 15.4 percent of the ETF's weight.

Since inception in May 2011, SPLV has gained 14.26 percent compared to a 9.63 percent gain for the S&P 500 while being 570 basis points less volatile than the benchmark U.S. index, PowerShares said in the statement. SPLV has outperformed and been less volatile than the MSCI USA Minimum volatility index over the same time.

SPLV's ascent to the lofty $4 billion in AUM level is not surprising as investors have embraced low volatility ETFs in significant fashion. Through February 19, investors had poured $900 million into low volatility ETFs.

PowerShares sponsors four other low volatility ETFs in addition to SPLV. The PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSE:EELV) is home to $128.6 million in assets while the PowerShares S&P International Developed Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSE:IDLV) has $48.1 million in assets. Both funds debuted in January 2012.

In February, PowerShares introduced the PowerShares S&P MidCap Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSE:XMLV) and the PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSE:XSLV). Those ETFS have $2.6 million and $5.2 million in AUM, respectively.

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