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Rating:iShares Caters to Investors Seeking 'Genocide-Free' Options Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, November 12, 2009

iShares Caters to Investors Seeking 'Genocide-Free' Options

Reported by Patricia Kelly

Standing at the intersection of social responsibility and investing, iShares unveiled plans on Thursday to create the iShares Genocide-Free Exchange Traded Fund.

The new ETF is specifically directed at screening out companies worldwide that are strongly connected with genocide. BGI plans to rely on third-party index providers to identify and avoid investing in genocide-linked companies. The fund arrives at a time when calls for socially responsible funds, such as 'green' funds that invest in alternative energy, continue to grow louder and reach a broader audience.

“We believe there is investor interest in genocide-free investing,” stated Noel Archard, head of product research and development at iShares. “Creating this new fund could provide investors with an additional reputable socially responsible iShares ETF and address investor concerns on this issue.”

Although the plan is still in its incubation stage, it has already garnered positive praise from the Investors Against Genocide group, a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness and encourage mutual funds and investment firms to avoid complicity in genocide. IAG has come to blows with other mutual fund giants like American Funds, Fidelity and Vanguard.

“We consider this announcement by iShares an important step forward in the effort to advance the practice of genocide-free investing,” stated Eric Cohen, the chairperson of IAG. “While most US mutual fund companies have declined to take any action, iShares has listened to the marketplace and has taken a significant step forward by announcing plans to develop the first international genocide-free fund for retail investors.”

Meanwhile, money manager BlackRock Inc. is preparing to close on a deal to acquire iShares' parent company, Barclays Global Investors (BGI).


Company Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO - November 12, 2009 - Barclays Global Investors (BGI), the world's largest provider of exchange traded funds (ETFs)1, today announced that it intends to develop an iShares Genocide-Free ETF. The company plans to rely on a reputable third-party index provider to identify companies around the world that they believe are strongly connected to genocide to screen out of an established, broad-based international benchmark. Any new fund would be subject to regulatory approval and specific timing of development is not yet determined.

"We are committed to providing individual investors, their financial advisors and institutional investors with the investment choices they want," said Noel Archard, head of iShares product research and development at BGI. "We believe there is investor interest in genocide-free investing and that belief was reinforced through recent conversations with Investors Against Genocide, among others. As a result, we intend to develop an extension of our iShares socially responsible ETF offering with an iShares genocide-free ETF. We believe that creating this new fund could provide investors with an additional reputable socially responsible iShares ETF and address investor concerns on this issue."

About Barclays Global Investors/iShares:

Barclays Global Investors is one of the world's largest asset managers and a leading global provider of investment management products and services. BGI has more than 2,900 institutional clients and US$1.7 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2009. It transformed the investment industry by creating the first index strategy in 1971 and the first quantitative active strategy in 1979. BGI is the global product leader in exchange traded funds (iShares) with over 380 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 16 exchanges worldwide. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.

Contacts for Press:

Lance Berg
415-597-2045
lance.berg@barclaysglobal.com

Christine Hudacko
415-597-2687
christine.hudacko@barclaysglobal.com

All Other US Inquiries:
1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737)

Investing involves risks, including possible loss of principal. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions.

Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SEI). Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. Barclays Global Investors Services (BGIS) assists in the marketing of the Funds. BGFA and BGIS are subsidiaries of Barclays Global Investors, N.A., a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

©2009 Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

1Source: Morgan Stanley Investment Strategies and Bloomberg as of 6/30/2009. Based on number of ETFs, AUM, and market share. 

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