iShares to launch core series ETFs for long-term buy-and-hold investors
17 October 2012
News, Global, USA
BlackRock announced on Monday (October 15) that its iShares exchange traded funds (ETFs) business, the world’s largest manager of ETFs, is launching a series of initiatives to enhance the value proposition it delivers to investors both in the US and globally. These initiatives include:
• Creating the iShares Core Series, a suite of ten US ETFs designed for the needs of long-term, buy-and-hold investors that combines competitive pricing with diversified, tax-efficient products using premier index providers.
• Launching a major, multi-pronged global brand initiative which recognises that every investor is unique and communicates the advantages of using the products that eight out of ten large professional investors choose for their ETFs.
• Integrating the iShares and BlackRock US retail sales teams, creating the largest retail field force in the US asset management industry, to offer financial advisors and distribution partners a fully integrated combination of index and active products and solutions for today’s investors.
Mark Wiedman, managing director and global head of iShares, said: “As we look to build on our market leading position in the ETF industry, we are taking a number of steps to further bolster our value proposition for investors, with an initial focus on the United States. The combination of our iShares Core Series targeting buy-and-hold investors and a campaign to refresh the powerful iShares brand – supported by what will now be the industry’s largest US retail sales force – are key components of our broader plan to drive even stronger growth in the US and globally.”
iShares is a global leader in ETFs and has attracted US$50 billion in net new assets year to date, as of September 30, more than any other provider.
iShares core series
The iShares core series is a suite of products offering a competitively priced, diversified, tax-efficient family of ETFs that investors can use as building blocks for the heart of their portfolios in domestic and international equities and US fixed income. Designed to fit together to provide broad equity and fixed income exposure, the series allows long-term investors to tailor the mix of funds to match their individual choice.
Composed of four new and six existing funds, this is the first series of iShares ETFs designed specifically with long-term buy-and-hold investors in mind and is backed by the world-class analytics and global investment insight of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. The suite can be supplemented with iShares solutions from a broad selection of ETFs for investors seeking to address more specific needs, from earning income in retirement to capitalising on market opportunities in the shorter-term. The iShares core series comprises the following funds:
• iShares Core S&P Total US Stock Market ETF
• iShares Core S&P 500 ETF
• iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF
• iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF
• iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF
• iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
• iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF
US fixed income
• iShares Core Total US Bond Market ETF
• iShares Core Long-Term US Bond ETF
• iShares Core Short-Term US Bond ETF
Mr. Wiedman commented: “As more and more investors turn to ETFs for the diversification and exposures they seek in the core of their portfolios, we saw the opportunity to offer a cost-effective suite of funds that still provide the same professional quality you expect from iShares. We believe that every investor is unique, and with the iShares Core Series, investors have the opportunity to match their large, long-term core holdings to their individual needs and still have the flexibility to complement them with more specialised ETFs that suit their specific objectives.”
All three iShares Core international equity ETFs track segments of the flagship MSCI Investable Market Index (IMI), providing investors’ access to some of broadest exposure available in the global equity universe today.
Mr. Wiedman said: “MSCI is the predominant choice of professional investors and we’re pleased to deepen our relationship with them through the introduction of these new products using their indexes to help deliver high quality portfolio construction to all investors small and large.”
iShares brand initiative
The new multi-pronged iShares brand initiative focuses on the unique needs of individuals in an uncertain, volatile and complex new world of investing, where many opportunities still exist and portfolios need to be diversified and dynamic as these times require. The initiative comes to life by exploring the goals and aspirations of individual investors, with their unique needs and objectives, met by iShares.
The brand initiative launched yesterday (October 16) in the US and roll out in Canada, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands later this month. It encompasses digital, TV and print advertising, thought leadership and insight, tools and support for investors and financial advisors. In 2013, this campaign will continue to roll out globally.
Commenting on the iShares brand initiative, Mr. Wiedman continued: “No one size fits all in today’s new world of investing and our initiative puts the ‘i’ in investing, where it belongs. These times require professional quality, matched to individual choice and a partner like iShares who is committed to making investing clear, fair and efficient for everyone.”
BlackRock has more than 40 years of indexing history – the longest of any provider – and an established record of responsible innovation, including the introduction of the first fixed income and emerging markets ETFs.
The integration of the iShares US retail sales team with the BlackRock US retail sales force will take place over the coming months and create a team of approximately 275 professionals, providing significant additional support to the continuing growth of both the iShares and BlackRock retail platforms. The new model will retain dedicated iShares specialists who have the deep knowledge and expertise to assist financial advisors and their clients with their ETF needs.
The combined team will now be positioned to offer financial advisors and distribution partners a full range of index and active solutions that investors increasingly are looking for in today’s market environment. This includes offering model portfolios that combine index and active strategies to help investors create their own optimal asset allocations through solutions such as target income, hedged risk income and strategic and tactical equity models.
Robert Fairbairn, senior managing director and global head of BlackRock's retail and iShares businesses, said: “Integrating our iShares and BlackRock retail sales teams will create the largest field force in the industry and allows us to even more effectively serve our clients by offering them BlackRock’s full range of index and active products that no other firm can match. This will be particularly effective in supporting the iShares Core Series and our model portfolios that offer investors the same asset allocation expertise and sophisticated risk management that many of the world’s biggest pension funds and corporations rely on.”
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