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Index Providers Launch Trade Body
By ETF.com Staff | 13 March, 2012

MSCI, S&P Indices and FTSE are to launch a new trade body to represent index providers, called the Index Industry Association (IIA), the three firms said today in a press release.

The IIA will have a remit that includes investor education and the promotion of the interests of index users and product providers, say MSCI, S&P Indices and FTSE. The not-for-profit trade body is to be based in New York and will have a board of directors that initially comprises representatives from the three founding companies.  The IIA will be open to membership from index businesses worldwide. A search is currently underway for an executive director to lead the body.

The IIA says its aims also include working with regulatory bodies and the support of index providers’ intellectual property rights.

Regulators, particularly in Europe, are taking a closer look at how indices are used in funds approved for retail distribution, while in a recent IndexUniverse.eu article (“Self-Indexing—Cause For Cheer Or Concern?”), some fund managers justified recent moves to “self-index”, or to run their own benchmarks, as being motivated partly by competitive pressures and the costs of paying licensing fees to third-party index firms.

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