Jan 7 BlackRock Inc's U.S. iShares exchange-traded funds took in $61 billion from customers in 2012, winning the top spot from Vanguard Group in a record-breaking year.
Investors added $191 billion to U.S.-listed ETFs in total last year, breaking the previous record of $169 billion in 2008, according to fund researcher Morningstar.
Ranking second, Vanguard received $53 billion from customers, while third-place State Street garnered $40 billion.
Overall assets in U.S. ETFs hit $1.35 trillion, or about 13 percent of all the money invested in long-term U.S. funds, Morningstar said.
Growing competition among top ETF providers prompted managers to cut fees across the industry last year. In October, BlackRock rolled out a new line of lower-fee "core" funds to combat low-fee funds from Vanguard and Charles Schwab Corp.
BlackRock's new line grabbed about one-quarter of all customer inflows to its ETFs since being announced, Morningstar said.
Among other ETF managers, Invesco's PowerShares unit placed fourth with $8 billion of inflows and bond giant Pimco ranked fifth with $5 billion. The Pimco Total Return ETF , an actively managed fund run by Bill Gross, was the most successful new fund of 2012, bringing in almost $4 billion.