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Lilliputian ETF Provider To Introduce Active Funds

Index Development Partners, a nascent exchange-traded funds provider, is reportedly bulking up to break into the market by preparing variations of actively managed investments, which it is calling "performance indexes."

Shares of IDP jumped to $1.50 from a meager four cents per share after hedge fund magnate Michael Steinhardt acquired at least 65% of the company. Unlike static indexes used as benchmarks in exchange-traded funds, the new ETFs performance indexes will rotate holdings as dictated by quantitative investment formulas.

The company has also attracted attention by building a team of high-caliber board members, investors and advisers, including James Robinson, who helped launch RRE Venture. Even if IDP succeeds in creating successful actively managed ETFs, the company still faces an uphill battle because the ETF market is dominated by three industry giants: Barclays Global Investors, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard.