iShares sees increase in wrap platfroms’ assets

BlackRock’s ETF platfrom iShares has seen 23% growth in its assets held on wrap platforms since the introduction of RDR.

According to the platform, advisers favoured shorter dated UK corporate bonds and developed equities in Q3.

iShares recorded assets of £1.05bn held on nine wrap platforms as of the end of September 2013, a growth of 23% compared with the end of 2012.

iShares’ ETFs are available on a total of 27 platforms and this data reflects assets held on nine of the major platforms: 7IM, Ascentric, AXA Wealth Elevate, Fidelity FundsNetwork, Novia, Nucleus, Raymond James, Standard Life and Transact.

As iShares report highlighted, developed market equities continue to dominate in attracting ETF inflows, with £47m flowing in this sector.

Demand for income-focused funds remained strong, with £14.7m flowing into dividend-focused ETFs such as the iShares EURO Dividend UCITS ETF, ishares also said.

Corporate bond ETFs were the most popular type of ETF during the third quarter, attracting inflows of £56m, iShares also revealed.

In additon, the UK proved a popular investment this quarter with the iShares £ Corporate Bond UCITS ETF attracting inflows of around £15m and the iShares UK Gilts 0-5yr UCITS ETF seeing £16m of inflows, showing further appetite for UK bond exposures.

Pollyanna Harper, head of Intermediary Sales UK at iShares commented: “Financial advisers are becoming much more comfortable with how ETFs work and how they can be used in client portfolios.

“This trend is partly due to the changes brought about by the Retail Distribution Review, but equally there is much more information available now to investors and advisers alike. As a natural consequence, we’re seeing more advisers pick ETFs as a cost-efficient way of allocating to asset classes and wrap platforms are an ideal and highly effective way of accessing them.”

Andrew Smith, COO, AXA Wealth Elevate, commented: “We’ve seen a steady growth in the number of advisers looking to use ETFs, and expect this to continue as the industry further evolves towards a new model for advice and fees.

“In response to demand, we’ve taken steps to make ETFs more readily available on the AXA Wealth Elevate platform, including lowering our dealing charges, and are working with major providers such as iShares to ensure we are providing the funds that advisers are looking for in today’s market.”

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