A tour d’horizon of the Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) market

Held on Wednesday, May 29


  • Deborah Fuhr (ETFGI)

  • Dave Abner (Wisdom Tree)

  • Bryon Lake (JPMorgan)

  • Helen Thomas (BlondeMoney)



Are ETFs so cheap and easy to buy and sell that they tempt Joe and Joanna Public to trade in and out? The benefits of exchange-traded funds are clear – they take mutual fund investing to the next level. They are cheaper than traditional open-end funds, and offer flexible trading, greater transparency and better tax efficiency.

But “the market for exchange-traded funds is getting nasty; especially for new ETFs,” says Bloomberg. Carving out a specialism is becoming hard; so with more than 2,000 ETFs out there, is the market saturated? Maybe - but, only about 1% of new ETF proposals ever makes it to market. A great concept, a clever ticker symbol and a sharp pitch are crucial. So, too, is seed capital.

Innovation is key. Amun AG has recently created a ‘top five’ crypto index, and has listed physical Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Is that a good thing? And what about liquidity – particularly when underlying markets slump? There are also broader issues about passive investing which impact on the ETF market.

So, lots to talk about. I am, therefore, delighted that we have been able to put together a distinguished panel:

Our four speakers are:

  • Deborah Fuhr is a managing partner and founder at ETFGI. She is a former MD and head of ETF Research at Blackrock, global head of ETF research at Barclays, and head of the investment strategy team at Morgan Stanley. She is also one of the founders of Women in ETFs.

  • Dave Abner is EVP and head of WisdomTree Europe. He joined WT in 2008 from BNP Paribas, where he was head of ETF Trading for the Americas. Prior to that, he spent 14 years at Bear Stearns, where he was head of ETF Trading within the Equity Derivatives group. He is the author of the The ETF Handbook, and The Visual Guide to ETFs.

  • Bryon Lake is an MD and head of international ETFs at JPMorgan AM. He is a former European head of Invesco's Powershares business.

  • Helen Thomas founded BlondeMoney in 2017, focusing on monitoring the un-priced un-quantifiable risks in financial markets. She is a former head of currency alpha at State Street Global Advisors, and was an advisor to George Osborne when he was Chancellor. She is a board member of CFA UK.

This is bound to be a lively discussion. To join it, please email alex@csfi.org or call the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be wine and sandwiches.

Sincerely yours,

Jane Fuller

Co-Director, CSFI