InvestmentsMay 29 2013

ETF assets on platforms flourish in Q1: iShares

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ByFiona Nicolson

The head of intermediary UK sales for ETF provider iShares said growing demand for developed market equities was a key driver for new assets under management.

She said: “Advisers are putting money into developed market equities and there is particular interest in minimum volatility strategies that allow investors to dip their toes into the stock market in a measured way. But UK government bonds will remain a core portfolio holding for many.”

Ms Harper added that the company had also seen a steady increase in the amount of assets advisers were holding in ETFs through platforms since the implementation of the retail distribution review.

She said: “Advisers and investors are becoming more aware of what ETFs are and this data demonstrates the gradual shift from understanding how ETFs work to using them in portfolios.”

Adviser view

Nick McBreen, financial planner for Cornwall-based Worldwide Financial Planning, said: “If the increased interest is because of raised awareness, that is a good thing but I suspect it is because it is becoming more obvious that advisers need a more robust process and passives seem attractive as they are simple and easy to do. It is dangerous though to assume this solution..

“I would suggest there is still a huge understanding block when it comes to ETFs. There are many issues that people need to be mindful of.”


The amount of iShares assets held on eight wrap platforms reached £985m in quarter one.

ETFs providing exposure to developed equity markets received inflows of more than £50m in quarter one.

Minimum volatility funds were popular: The iShares MSCI World Minimum Volatility and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility funds each saw inflows of £12m in quarter one.

The iShares FTSE Gilts UK 0-5 saw inflows of £41m, with £20m flowing into the iShares Markit iBoxx £ Corporate Bond and £13m into the shorter duration version of this fund, the iShares Markit iBoxx £ Corporate Bond 1-5.