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iShares, the exchange-traded funds (ETF) business of investment giant BlackRock, has seen its assets under management held on UK wrap platforms surpass the £1 billion mark as an ever-greater number of financial advisers make use of ETFs.
Adviser interest in ETFs has increased sharply since the introduction of reforms brought about by the Retail Distribution Review at the start of 2013 – reforms which have led to a significantly greater emphasis on low cost products.
iShares was quick to recognise to this structural shift, being one of the earliest ETF providers to roll out its products on wrap platforms.
In iShares’ case, its products are available on nine major platforms including Ascentric, AXA-Elevate, Fidelity FundsNetwork, Novia, Nucleus, Raymond James, Standard Life, Transact and 7IM.
Pollyanna Harper, Head of Intermediary Sales UK at iShares, said: “As we move through the year we’re encouraged to see the increased use of ETFs by advisers on UK platforms.”
She added: “Uptake continues to grow as platforms and providers continue to work closely together to ensure investors can use ETFs to implement their investment views easily. We expect these efforts to increase the usage of these simple and transparent investment vehicles by the adviser community.”
Hugo Thorman, Managing Director of Ascentric, one of the platforms on which iShares ETFs are available, commented: “These results show the continued importance of ETFs in providing advisers and discretionary fund managers with low cost access to a range of markets. iShares ETFs on the Ascentric platform were up 72% compared to the same period in 2012, and with assets up 45% since the start of the year, we expect to see this growth trend continue.”