iShares unveils ETF toolkit for UK financial advisers

Feb 5th, 2013 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

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iShares, the exchange-traded funds (ETF) platform of BlackRock, has unveiled a comprehensive toolkit of materials on ETFs designed to meet the needs of UK financial advisers.

iShares unveils ETF toolkit for UK financial advisers

The toolkit comprises information designed to help advisers assess ETFs and the role they can play in portfolios.

Advisers are entering a changing environment for fees and advice following the introduction of the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR), and many are considering new ways and vehicles through which they can deliver returns for clients.

All this is occurring at a time when investment markets continue to be relatively volatile and yields on many traditional income asset classes, such as government bonds, remain low, putting pressures on overall portfolio returns.

ETFs have been among the key beneficiaries of this evolving regulatory and investment environment owing to the numerous advantages they typically offer: namely transparency, liquidity, diversification, flexibility, performance and, importantly, low cost.

The toolkit comprises information designed to help advisers assess ETFs and the role they can play in portfolios. It includes a detailed guide to ETFs for advisers, designed as a reference tool on issues such as calculating total cost, evaluating the tax implications of different products and what to look for when selecting an ETF; a guide to how ETFs can be used to construct a diversified core portfolio for clients; and various materials which can be used in conversation with end investors.

“UK advisers and investors are fortunate to
have such a well-developed range of ETFs
traded on the London Stock Exchange covering
all major asset classes. With over 664 ETFs
from 16 providers there is increasingly a need
for greater research, expertise and solutions
to fully maximise their potential. One has to
remember that this trend is accelerating
rapidly with 2012 seeing 179 new launches on
the UK exchange.”

Anthony Christodoulou, founder of WorldTrack,
commenting on the launch of iShares’ toolkit.

The creation of the toolkit follows the launch of iShares’ accredited continuous professional development (CPD) webinar course in July 2012, an online programme consisting of three modules designed to help advisers fill qualification gaps ahead of the RDR.

Pollyanna Rhodes, Head of Intermediary Sales at iShares UK, commented: “The introduction of the RDR has undoubtedly increased the interest we’ve seen in ETFs from financial advisers. There is also now much more awareness of the role that asset allocation plays in generating risk-managed returns, which is leading many investors to look at blending index products with active funds in their portfolios.”

She added: “This toolkit is designed to be a comprehensive, yet easy to use, reference guide for advisers which will both increase their expertise of ETFs and better enable them to have conversations with their clients about the benefits of index products.”

The toolkit is available to download from the iShares website http://uk.ishares.com/en/pc/microsite/adviser-education.

iShares is not alone in producing educational material for UK financial advisers. In December, Vanguard rolled out an educational ETF web portal featuring a range of interactive CPD-approved modules and tutorials, as well as informative and useful tools to aid adviser learning.

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