State Street is one of the largest global custodians and asset managers in the world. Clients such as mutual funds or insurance companies use State Street for their back office bookkeeping in exchange for a fee. And since clients don’t want to muck up their bookkeeping and alienate their customers, custodial clients don’t tend to move from one institution to another with great frequency. On the asset side, where State Street directly manages $2 trillion in assets, the company is now one of the biggest players in the fast-growing market for ETFs (exchange traded funds), the most serious threat to traditional mutual funds since the rise of the modern mutual fund in the 1960s.
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