SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) announced today that its iShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world’s largest manager of ETFs, has launched the iShares Exponential Technologies ETF (NYSEArca:XT). The new ETF, which began trading on March 23rd, is based on an idea from Edelman Financial Services, one of the nation’s largest independent financial planning and investment management firms, and seeks to track the Morningstar® Exponential Technologies Index.
XT is designed to provide global exposure to companies identified as leaders across key areas of technological transformation – from big data and analytics to nanotechnology and bioinformatics. These companies, which also cross industry sectors such as manufacturing, financial services and health care, have the potential to profoundly transform society and may offer substantial investment growth opportunities.
Hollie Fagan, Head of BlackRock’s dedicated Registered Investment Advisor business, commented: “We are thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with Edelman and Morningstar. BlackRock is committed to client-led innovation, working to bring liquid, transparent investment opportunities previously unavailable to most investors. This ETF is testament to BlackRock’s willingness to create innovative products when requested by a member of the financial community and a continuation of our commitment to democratize access to markets for all investors.”
Ric Edelman, Chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, commented: “We believe exposure to exponential technologies is an important part of a globally diversified portfolio, and we are excited that our clients will have efficient access to some of the leading companies in this area through this ETF. BlackRock’s leadership position in the ETF marketplace, Morningstar’s research and index-building capabilities, and the outstanding reputation and high fiduciary standards of both firms give us additional confidence in this investment opportunity. We are especially pleased that BlackRock is making this investment opportunity available to investors by developing it in an ETF.”
Edelman was three times ranked the nation’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor by Barron’s.1
To develop the index, Morningstar’s Equity Research team identified companies that are at the forefront of nine technology trends that are likely to disrupt a range of established industries. The trends include: 3-D Printing, Big Data and Analytics, Bioinformatics, Energy and Environmental Systems, Financial-Services Innovation, Medicine and Neuroscience, Nanotechnology, Networks and Computer Systems, and Robotics.
Sanjay Arya, Head of Morningstar Indexes, commented: “The Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index leverages our equity analysts’ abilities to identify trends and businesses that will lead the next wave of innovation and combines it with our index construction capabilities. Exponential technologies move beyond the traditional definition of technology to include entirely new categories such as bioinformatics, financial innovation, energy, and environmental systems.”
The Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index is equally weighted and Morningstar’s Equity Research team reassesses both the exponential technology trends and constituents annually. Morningstar is one of the largest providers of independent equity research, with more than 100 equity analysts around the world covering approximately 1,500 individual companies.
Although inspired by Ric Edelman, neither he nor Edelman Financial Services has received or will receive compensation from BlackRock or Morningstar in connection with the development or operation of XT or the index.
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At December 31, 2014, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.652 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of December 31, 2014, the firm had approximately 12,200 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com | Twitter: @blackrock_news | Blog: www.blackrockblog.com | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/blackrock
iShares is a global leader in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with more than a decade of expertise and commitment to individual and institutional investors of all sizes. With over 700 funds globally across multiple asset classes and strategies and more than $1 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014, iShares helps clients around the world build the core of their portfolios, meet specific investment goals and implement market views. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm.2
Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds' prospectuses or, if available, the summary prospectuses which may be obtained by visiting www.iShares.com or www.blackrock.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks often are heightened for investments in emerging/developing markets and in concentrations of single countries. Funds that concentrate investments in specific industries, sectors, markets or asset classes may underperform or be more volatile than other industries, sectors, markets or asset classes and than the general securities market. Technology companies may be subject to severe competition and product obsolescence.
The Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”).
“Morningstar” and the “Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index” are trademarks and services marks of Morningstar, Inc. These marks, along with the underlying index with which they are associated, have been licensed by BlackRock, Inc., for certain purposes. The Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index serves as the tracking index for the iShares Exponential Technologies ETF. This ETF is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Morningstar or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Morningstar"), and Morningstar makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in this ETF.
©2015 BlackRock. All rights reserved. iSHARES and BLACKROCK are registered trademarks of BlackRock. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. iS-15046-0315
1 According to Barron’s, “The formula used to rank advisors has three major components: assets managed, revenue produced and quality of the advisor’s practice. Investment returns are not a component of the rankings because an advisor’s returns are dictated largely by each client’s risk tolerance. The quality-of-practice component includes an evaluation of each advisor’s regulatory record.” Only advisors who apply are ranked. “The Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors” was published Aug. 27, 2012; Aug. 28, 2010; and Aug. 31, 2009. Ric Edelman is Chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, a Registered Investment Adviser, and CEO, President and a Director of Pinnacle Summer Investments Inc. He offers advisory services through EFS and securities through Sanders Morris Harris Inc., an affiliated broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC.
2 Based on $4.652T in AUM as of 12/31/14