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Monday, January 14, 2013

iShares Has Three Big Foci for 2013

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

MFWire previously reported that data from BlackRock's iShares arm shows that active managers are now among the hottest consumers of ETF products.

Thanks to such strong demand from active managers as well as investors, institutions and other market participants, iShares was able to report a whopping $83.2 billion in inflows for 2012.

The firm doesn't plan to rest on its laurels this year, of course, and is investing significant resources in three areas in 2013 in order to beat last year's figures.

Daniel Gamba, head of BlackRock's iShares institutional business outlined these three initiatives recently for MFWire.

They are:

  • New products.
    "This year [i.e. in 2012], we came out with close to 60 new products in the past 18-months. Many came about as a result of big demand from active managers, like global high yield. We launched a number of country funds this year. We also launched frontier market ETFs. A majority of these products came about due to demand from clients who wanted more portfolio customization on risk and return," he says.

  • Building models.
    "We are helping clients build models that they can utilize in their portfolios. We have an analytics team that will provide them with a series of different returns and levels of performance. All of that data we will provide or have the index vendors provide to them. We are building up an analytic effort with index providers that they can use in their portfolios," he says.

  • Education.
    "We have a big team, close to 40 people across the U.S. dedicated to asset managers of different sizes: third party managers, small asset managers and investment advisors. This is one of fastest growing trends in the market. This team will grow. It goes after asset managers and RIAs who are ETF strategists. We are very committed. We are committed to growing this team by 10% in 2013," he says.

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