Asset Management Awards for Excellence 2020 – Best Fund Provider – ETF

Best Fund Provider ETF


iShares by BlackRock

Best Fund Provider – ETF

Geir Espeskog

managing director, head of iShares Asia Pacific distribution, BlackRock

“iShares offers the greatest breadth of ETF products to private banks in Asia, allowing us to cater to a broad range of clients as they aspire to build low-cost, efficient investment portfolios. iShares ETFs offer clients the opportunity to invest in thematic exposures as well as China’s local equity and fixed income markets, and are listed on multiple exchanges, which enables clients to select ETFs that cater to their tax and time zone trading requirements.

We believe our consistent approach to training and education in the region sets us apart from other ETF providers. In addition, value-add services, such as ETF trading guidance, risk analysis, and our portfolio construction expertise allow us to have in-depth discussions with our clients.

Our clients have become more sophisticated and are now accustomed to incorporating the use of ETFs in their business models, where asset allocation plays an integral part. As such, both DPM and fee-based advisory in Asia are leveraging portfolio construction best practices to generate alpha more efficiently. iShares is working closely with our clients in the region to help them realise the true potential of ETFs as building blocks in their portfolios.

We look forward to helping our clients evolve their investment offerings in 2020, whether that be through fixed income, sustainable investing, factor investing, or providing more robust asset allocation solutions.”

Winners rationale

As passive and index investing gain traction in Asia’s private banking industry, iShares by BlackRock continues to play a dominant role as the go-to provider for ETFs. This success is on the back of its strong market insights, superior asset inflows, and well recognised client training and servicing capabilities.

Even with the outperformance of the equity market, fixed income has come to the forefront as the most favoured asset class for the private banking industry in 2019. In line with this trend, iShares has been gathering record fixed income ETF inflows throughout the year; 2019 saw US$243 billion of asset inflows into bond ETFs across the globe, of which US$105 billion was captured by iShares fixed income ETFs.

Despite the risk-averse sentiment this year, the firm still managed to attract a significant US$469 million from the region’s private wealth management industry, with bond ETFs dominating the flow.

Strong inflows into iShares ETFs always come with a robust investment process, as well as portfolio engineering and construction. To deliver performance with precision, the firm uses a cross-disciplinary structure comprised of portfolio engineers, index strategists, and research and trading specialists. All of the portfolios are reviewed on a daily basis by the engineering team and more formally on a monthly basis by the Investment Review Committee. In addition, BlackRock’s Risk and Quantitative Analysis Group plays a vital role, monitoring portfolios and ensuring that risks are consistent across mandates and each portfolio’s risk guidelines.

To keep abreast of evolving client needs, market movements, and changing regulations, iShares has in place a dedicated distribution team addressing the unique investment needs of the private wealth management clients. Through customised training based on clients’ existing ETF knowledge, wider proprietary educational programmes, thought leadership, and market outlook materials, the firm provides clients with value-added services such as ETF trading guidance, risk analysis, and portfolio construction expertise — as opposed to conversations that are purely focused on product offerings.

Little surprise then that iShares by BlackRock has, once again, been selected as Asian Private Banker’s Best Fund Provider – ETF.

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