Fifty-three percent of respondents to a P&I Online survey last week said it doesn't matter whether passive money managers benchmark against brand name indexes.
The poll was taken following Vanguard Group's Oct. 2 decision to replace 16 MSCI indexes with new indexes from the University of Chicago's Center for Research in Security Prices.
Forty-seven percent said it did matter.
Despite the response, industry sources told Pensions & Investments in Monday's edition that the switch matters to institutional investors, which typically prefer the MSCI indexes to track international equities.
“The MSCI indexes are the gold standard for institutional investors,” Doug Sipkin, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, told P&I's Randy Diamond.
Mr. Sipkin believes institutional investors will switch to BlackRock's iShares regardless of the higher fees.