“It’s heating up,” was the first thing someone said to me when I walked into the 10th Annual Closed-End Funds and Global ETFs Capital Link Forum on Wednesday.

It wasn’t clear whether he was talking about the standing-room only crowd that squeezed several hundred into a room designed for far less, or the ETF industry in general, which has seen huge inflows. In fact, by the end of the first quarter of 2011, the ETF industry in the United States had 949 ETFs and assets of $950 billion, from 29 providers on two exchanges, according to Deborah Fuhr, Managing Director at BlackRock and author of ETF Landscape, a guide to industry highlights. This is up from 814 ETFs and assets of $736.3 billion from 29 providers on two exchanges one year earlier.

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