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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exchange-traded fund strategists make hay on industry boom, (NASDAQ: MORN)

As the $2.2 trillion exchange-traded fund industry grows at a rapid clip, a group of investment consultants who specialize in creating portfolios of the funds - so-called ETF strategists - are reaping high returns. The group that began as a handful of managers taking interest in the funds during the early 1990s has now grown into an established market, attracting the attention of ETF providers who view the strategists as a key to promoting their ETFs."It's a segment that's exploding," said Steve Cucchiaro, chief investment officer of Boston-based Windhaven Investment Management Inc, which ranks among the largest ETF strategists. At more than $18 billion, assets at Windhaven, owned by Charles Schwab Corp, are up roughly 32 percent this year.The strategists, who research, design and manage ETF portfolios, see demand for their specialized expertise among investment advisers, individual investors and, increasingly, institutional clients like state pension funds and large insurance companies.Chicago-based research firm Morningstar Inc counts 645 strategies from 145 firms with total assets of $80 billion as of June - an 18 percent jump since January and up 46 percent in just a year.

Morningstar, Inc., is a provider of independent investment research to investors worldwide. Shares of MORN fell by 1.55% or $-1.28/share to $81.36. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $61.31 and as high as $85.97. On average, 63728 shares of MORN exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 98019.