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Rating:Barclays Prez Explains the 'Very Difficult' Decision to Put iShares on the Block Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Barclays Prez Explains the 'Very Difficult' Decision to Put iShares on the Block

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Barclays' decision to sell the iShares business has come as a surprise to more than a few industry insiders. On Tuesday, Barclays president Robert Diamond spoke to CNBC's Maria Bartiromo about what prompted the decision:

"I think there are a couple of reasons. If we had anything in our group that was clearly not strategic and we had not already sold it in this environment, shame on us. I think this is a much more difficult decision. We saw very strong interest in demand externally and we were wrestling internally with the fit in terms of a retail business alongside an institutional business. So, I think all of those things came together and we made the decision to pursue the opportunity."

Earlier in the interview, Diamond said:

"This has been a very, very difficult decision for us in Barclays. It's an unbelievable business ... iShares. We've grown it from a baby. It was all organic from day one over the last five to six years. We had some outside interest in the business and we also had a debate internally. The iShares business has a much different distribution medium than our institutional business in BGI or in Barclays Capital. It is really sold through intermediaries onto retail investors. So we have struggled with whether or not there is a separation between the iShares and the institutional business at BGI." 

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