From the May 2009 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

BGI to Offer Portfolio Data, Sell iShares

Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has unveiled its ETF Managed Solutions Guide, designed for financial advisors in identifying third-party managers (TPMs) who offer model ETF portfolios. The book, to be published quarterly by BGI's iShares ETF Business, provides information about managers that have a significant ETF allocation within their model portfolios.

"The role of the financial advisor is more important than ever. There's a great need for closer communication with clients to help them navigate these turbulent markets," said Susan Thompson, managing director, iShares ETF Business at BGI. "Some advisors would prefer to spend more time with clients and utilize others' ETF portfolios, but learning who had those model portfolios was difficult. We decided that one way we could help financial advisors was to gather this information for them."

The ETF Managed Solutions Guide includes over 30 third-party managers and iShares expects to add more TPMs in each edition as more managers build such portfolios. The guide provides information on each firm's investment philosophy, portfolio management team, portfolio objective, performance history, top holdings and asset class and sector weights.

"More and more firms are building and actively managing ETF portfolios to help control risks and costs and to meet clients' investment goals," said Thompson. "The new ETF Managed Solutions Guide helps financial advisors use ETFs and deliver ETFs' benefits of transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency to their clients."

In related news, Barclays, the banking parent of Barclays Global Investors, sold its iShares unit to European private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion. Barclays had been seeking to sell profitable parts of its business in order to offset its mounting losses in mortgage investments.

The U.K.-based institution reaped a $2.2 billion net gain from the transaction and will be entitled to receive a 20 percent portion of future increases in the equity of iShares once CVC has achieved certain minimum returns. CVC put up $1.05 billion of the purchase price, while Barclays provided $3.1 billion of debt financing.

At the end of March, BGI managed $232.37 billion in its U.S.-listed iShares ETFs.

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Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com
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