State Street Steps Up in the ETF Race

The co-head of the firm's adviser unit discusses its new offerings, and plans to regain share.
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With the recent introduction of a dozen new exchange-traded funds, including

three this week, it's clear that

State Street Global Advisors

has decided to jump back into the ETF race against rival

Barclay's Global Investors

. But does State Street have the legs to compete after sleeping on the sidelines for so long?

In Aesop's fable "The Tortoise and the Hare," the hare jumps out to an early lead in a race against the much slower tortoise, then takes a nap in a fit of overconfidence. Upon awakening, he finds that his slow and steady competitor has already surpassed him.

In the non-fictional world of ETFs, State Street Global Advisors, or SSgA, could easily be pegged to play the part of the hare. State Street introduced the first ETF, the

SPDR

(SPY) - Get Report

, in 1993 and watched it grow into the largest U.S. ETF, with $58 billion in assets, or 19% of the total market.

But while SSgA was admiring the success of the SPY, Barclay's slow and steady approach enabled it to amass a huge pile of assets in its

iShares

brand. BGI now dominates the red-hot ETF space with $170 billion in assets, compared with SSgA's $85 billion.

In an interview with

TheStreet.com

, Greg Ehret, co-head of SSgA's Advisor Strategies unit, describes how the three sector SPDRs released this week, in addition to the nine rolled out in November, are part of SSgA's larger plan to challenge BGI for ETF dominance. Please

click here to watch the interview.