The Shifting ETF Regulatory Landscape

The exchange traded fund investment vehicle is still relatively new in the financial world. As the market matures, regulators will continue to tinker with the tool to improve on the fund vehicle.

For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission has helped streamline the listing process for actively managed ETFs on the Bats Global Markets and New York Stock Exchange, potentially paving the way for more active ETFs to hit the market.

SEE MORE: SEC Streamlines ETF Listing Process on Bats, NYSE

We have already seen a number of new active ETFs hit the market, and the relatively sparse segment of the ETF universe may quickly expand in the future. For instance, in recent weeks, Elkhorn rolled out the Elkhorn Commodity Rotation Strategy ETF (NasdaqGM: DWAC) and Elkhorn Fundamental Commodity Strategy ETF (BATS: RCOM). AdvisorShares launched the AdvisorShares Focused Equity ETF (NYSEArca: CWS). J.P. Morgan added the JPMorgan Disciplined High Yield (BATS: JPHY) and JPMorgan Diversified Alternatives ETF (NYSEArca: JPHF).

Looking ahead, we can expect even more active ETFs to hit the market. For example, Vanguard is seeking to allow a group of its active funds to be permitted to issue ETF shares that will be actively managed as well.

SEE MORE: Vanguard Seeks to Launch Active ETFs

Other fund companies are also diverging along the Eaton Vance path, crafting non-transparent actively managed ETF-esque structures. Recurrently, Fidelity sought approval to operate non-transparent ETAFs. The main point is that the ETAF structure will seek to make active equity investment management available in a non-transparent exchange traded vehicle as a way to protect shareholders from front-running. The fund would will reveal its portfolio with a 30-day disclosure delay of the holdings.

There have been a handful of so-called non-transparent, ETF-like petitions set to SEC over recent years. Eaton Vance’s NextShares suite of exchange traded managed funds, or ETMFs, have already received SEC approval. Other structures, such as those from Precidian Investments, BlackRock, T. Rowe Price and Capital Group, are still waiting on regulatory approval.

SEE MORE: Fidelity Is Looking into Non-Transparent, Active ETF-Esque Wrapper

The industry has also addressed problems associated with the August 24, so-called mini flash crash where ETFs experienced extreme bouts of volatility with steep price swings that led to trading halts in over 300 ETFs, which spurred the SEC to examine “these events and any broader implications they may have for how we regulate ETFs.” Consequently, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the investment vehicle and considering potential rules to obviate trading and pricing disruptions.

SEE MORE: SEC Scrutinizes ETF Industry, Mulls New Rules

Money managers who are interested in learning more about the ETF industry and the investment vehicle can attend the in-person third annual ETF Boot Camp in New York on September 29-30. Want 50% off? Sign-up with a colleague and both use promo code “buddy” at checkout.

This article was provided by our partners at ETFTrends.