Well..allright I will get you started.
ETFs are securities certificates that state legal right of ownership over part of a basket of individual stock certificates. Several different kinds of financial firms are needed for ETFs to come into being, trade at prices that closely match their underlying assets, and unwind when investors no longer want them. Laying all the groundwork is the fund manager. This is the main backer behind any ETF, and they must submit a detailed plan for how the ETF will operate to be given permission by the SEC to proceed.
In theory all that a fund manager needs to do is establish clear procedures and describe precisely the composition of the ETF (which changes infrequently) to the other firms involved in ETF creation and redemption. In practice, however, only the very biggest institutional money management firms with experience in indexing tend to play this role, such as The Vanguard Group and Barclays Global Investors. They direct pension funds with enormous baskets of stocks in markets all over the world to loan stocks necessary for the creation process. They also create demand by lining up customers, either institutional or retail, to buy a newly introduced ETF.
This flow of individual stocks and ETF certificates goes through the Depository Trust Clearing Corp., the same US government agency that records individual stock sales and keeps the official record of these transactions. It records ETF transfer of title just like any stock. It provides an extra layer of assurance against fraud.
Once the authorized participant obtains the ETF from the custodial bank, it is free to sell it into the open market. From then on ETF shares are sold and resold freely among investors on the open market.
Redemption is simply the reverse. An authorized participant buys a large block of ETFs on the open market and sends it to the custodial bank and in return receives back an equivalent basket of individual stocks which are then sold on the open market or typically returned to their loanees.Some links to get you started:
More on ETF's in my next post.