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Evolving Portfolio Construction and Active ETF Decision Framework

Today’s asset management landscape is highly competitive and product development decision making is complex. The Evolving Portfolio Construction and Active ETF Decision Framework Report addresses many key product strategy and development challenges faced by asset managers. 

The report is informed by ISS MI’s advisor sentiment and behavioral research, and our proprietary business intelligence, data and analytics platforms – synthesized through the unique vantage point of deep industry, market and product expertise. 

The report covers topical areas of interest for asset managers in three areas including:

  • Key product development and prioritization considerations faced by asset managers, including distribution challenges and access to shelf space juxtaposed against the opportunity to capture asset flows as they move back into longer-term investments,
  • Advisor portfolio construction, including their use of model portfolios (home office and third-party), and of different vehicles such as mutual funds, active ETFs, and SMAs (including bond ladders and direct indexing), and 
  • Decision framework for entering and expanding into the active ETF market, including:
    • The ability to generate significant AUM
    • Which firms have been successful
    • Scaling new commingled funds
    • Strategies for market entry
    • Strategic issues, tradeoffs, and considerations
  • View a detailed Table of Contents

Informed by Proprietary Data, Analytics and Expertise 

ISS MI’s research reports are powered by our proprietary research studies and data platforms.  
These include our ongoing series of pulse reports that from the Selling Retail Investment Products Through Intermediaries research series, data and analytics from ISS MI’s Simfund and Flowspring business intelligence and analytics platforms, and ISS MI’s deep market, industry and product subject matter expertise 

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More about ISS MI's Selling Retail Investment Products Through Intermediaries Research

ISS MI’s Sentiment & Behavior Research provides a unique combination of custom analytics and survey-driven market intelligence covering advisor-sold investments and insurance.  Driven by a powerful combination of high quality market research, peer benchmarking, custom consulting, extensive industry experience and advanced data analytics, ISS MI’s research studies reveal data-driven insights that provide firms with actionable intelligence to optimize decision-making and performance.  Subscribers receive:
•    Bi-monthly pulse surveys that examine advisor needs and opinions on a variety of topical and thematic issues informed by over 10,000 advisor surveys annually
•    Semi-annual in-depth surveys to determine advisor needs, behaviors, and satisfaction with their top asset manager relationships
•    Access to special topical reports

Explore our Research Insights & Reports


ISS Market Intelligence, today announced the release of its latest report, Evolving Portfolio Construction and Active ETF Decision Framework. The report provides a comprehensive overview of product strategy and development challenges in the asset management industry, with a particular focus on the opportunities and risks of launching products in the active ETF product category.



Mutual fund and ETF providers have lived in different sales universes over the past couple years. After record-breaking flows boosted both vehicles in 2021, sales of mutual funds—especially active ones–fell through the floor in 2022 and through year-to-date September 2023 while ETFs enjoyed strong inflows. Since the start of last year, ETFs netted $835 billion in sales as long-term mutual funds shed $1.2 trillion.


In this still-young decade, fund managers have been roiled by outside forces: a global pandemic, political and social turmoil, high inflation, and the fastest increase in interest rates in decades. While the two bear markets in the period were relatively short, they helped hasten investors’ shift away from mutual funds and to ETFs and non-1940 Act vehicles like separately managed accounts (SMAs).


ISSMI announced the release of its State of the Market: The Future of Retail Products 2023 report covering the 2024-2028 outlook for long-term funds in the U.S.


MI Talk Ep. 16

In this episode of MI Talk, our host Goshka Folda, Global Head of Research at ISS Market Intelligence, delves into the fascinating world of model portfolio solutions (MPS) in the UK and how this trend is making waves globally.


Are sales data and prospect lists really that different? If your sales team is provided a one-time list of 100, 500 or 1,000 contacts, how long will that keep the team active?




MPS Press Release

ISSMI announced the publication of its second U.K. Model Portfolio Report, an examination of trends and developments shaping the U.K. model portfolio market in the first half of 2023.

Adviser Clarity Press Release

ISSMI announced the launch of Adviser Clarity, a significant expansion of ISS MI’s U.K. product offering that provides information on thousands of FCA-authorised adviser firms, including contactable individuals, for firms to target.


ISSMI has released the latest edition in the Windows into Defined Contribution series. The Q2 2023 edition covers recent trends in the advisor-sold defined contribution (DC) market, focusing on the relative sales experienced by mutual funds and collective investment trusts (CITs).


ISSMI announced the release of two studies surveying U.S.-based financial advisors and research analysts on their needs and satisfaction with the asset managers with whom they work.


In this latest UK financial adviser fund sales highlights, Benjamin Reed-Hurwitz, EMEA Research Leader at ISS MI, focuses on the latest net and gross sales trends for Q2 2023.


Retirement savers ended 2022 on shakier ground than the year prior. Capital markets experienced their sharpest annual declines since 2008, with both equity and bond markets feeling the sting from higher interest rates.

Simfund Total Market Highlights Q1 2023

Simfund Total Market provides a comprehensive and integrated view of institutional and retail financial product data globally. This article covers asset management industry activity in Q1 2023 for mutual funds, ETFs, retail SMAs, CITs, and separate accounts.


The Deposit Report is ISS Market Intelligence’s flagship research focused on the multiple deposit products available in Canada and the distribution channels through which they are sold.

Hands picking up leaves in background, with text overlayed that reads Resilience, Thy Fund Name is ESG

In this latest insight we investigated ISS MI’s European fund flow data in search of clues as to how flows into Article 8 and 9 funds responded in a volatile environment.



A photo of someone working on a computer in the background, with text overlaid, Advisors Warm Up to Fintech, but Most Remain Reliant on Home Offices

Over 95% of advisors report using fintech for trading and clearing, portfolio rebalancing, and investment analytics, according to a survey of 814 advisors conducted by ISS MI Market Metrics.