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section header ETF fundamentals

subsection header Trading

Key players

A number of players support the ETF ecosystem, some of whom participate in the primary market (where ETF units are created or redeemed), and those who participate in the secondary market where ETF units trade on an exchange.


Here are the key players in each market:

Primary market

  • ETF issuers are responsible for developing and managing the ETF and its portfolio of securities.
  • Authorized dealers are the institutions authorized to interact directly with an ETF issuer to create and redeem large blocks of ETF units. Many liquidity providers in the secondary market are also authorized dealers.


Secondary market

  • Market makers and other liquidity providers provide intraday liquidity for securities on the stock exchange. They compete for order flow by publishing quotes to buy (bid) and sell (ask) on an exchange. Every ETF has a designated broker (DB) who is responsible for maintaining a continuous two-way market during primary market hours.
  • Trading desks use their expertise to assist clients in executing complex or large ETF trades as efficiently as possible. They are often able to source additional liquidity in an ETF regardless of its average daily volume or the liquidity shown on the trading screen.
  • Investors buy and sell ETF units on an exchange at an agreed upon price.


Learn the basics of ETFs, including their history, how they compare to mutual funds, what types are available and more.


Learn about the different types of exchange-traded products, how index and active ETFs are managed and more.


Learn about strategic and tactical uses for ETFs, including asset and sub-asset allocation, portfolio completion, cash equitization and more.

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