SSGA celebrates 25th anniversary of SPDR S&P 500 ETF

Jan 30th, 2018 | By | Category: Equities

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the asset management business behind the SPDR range of ETFs, has celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first ever US-listed ETF, its SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY US).


SPY is the first ETF to have crossed the $300bn asset milestone.

Launched on 29 January 1993 with $6.5 million in assets under management, NYSE-listed SPY is now a behemoth with more than $302 billion in AUM, having crossed the $300bn milestone in recent days.

SPY was developed in the wake of Black Monday (the largest single-day stock market decline in history) and was designed to provide investors with immediate access to a physically backed, diversified basket of stocks.

The ETF traded over one million shares on the first day of trading, and AUM totalled $462m by the end of 1993. $1bn was reached within three years of launch, and $100bn before the fund’s 20th anniversary.

With an average daily trading volume of nearly $25bn, SPY accounts for an impressive 28% of the ETF industry’s total average daily trading volume and trades 4.7 times more than the largest security in the world by market cap. Due to the ultra-robust liquidity of the fund, it has traded at a penny-wide spread for more than 12 consecutive years.

SPY has outperformed 80% of active large cap managers over the last three, five and ten year periods which, along with its ease of accessibility, high liquidity and low costs, has helped to drive the trend towards greater adoption of passive management.

“SPY’s launch paved the way for a breakthrough industry that has improved access to every asset class and dramatically lowered costs for investors,” said Jim Ross, chairman of State Street Global Advisors’ global SPDR business and a member of the team that launched SPY in 1993. “In a relatively brief period of time, ETFs have fundamentally improved investing while amassing over $4 trillion of assets. Despite this unprecedented growth, the impact of ETFs during the next 25 years promises to be even more influential than it has been the last two-plus decades.”

“For a quarter century and through the volatile markets of 2001 and 2008, SPY has provided investors, advisors and institutions with unmatched access to US stocks,” added Nick Good, co-head of State Street Global Advisors’ global SPDR business. “While there are now more than 6,000 ETFs available to investors across the world, none offer investors the same liquidity or resilience as SPY.”

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