BlackRock to acquire Credit Suisse’s ETF business

BlackRock has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the exchange traded funds (ETF) business of Credit Suisse, the firm said today.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete by the end of the second quarter of 2013. The expanded iShares EMEA ETF range will comprise 264 ETFs with $157.6 billion in assets under management.

“Today’s agreement builds on that commitment to Switzerland, expanding on BlackRock’s presence in the Swiss market and representing the firm’s second acquisition in the country in the last twelve months following the purchase of Swiss Re Private Equity Partners in 2012,” BlackRock said.

The asset manager already has offices in Zurich and Geneva and over 50 employees based in the country.

Credit Suisse manages $17.6bn across the 58 funds in its ETF range, including $8.7bn in nine funds domiciled in Switzerland as well as funds domiciled in Ireland and Luxembourg.

The business is complementary to BlackRock’s ETF platform, iShares, and will expand iShares’ local product range in Switzerland, enhancing its ability to service the diverse local investor base which includes private banks, wealth managers, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies and individual investors.

“European investors are grappling with how to generate consistent, risk managed returns, and are looking for new ways to meet their financial goals. iShares has been serving the Swiss market since 2003, and this acquisition will allow us to meet even better the investment needs of our local clients today. iShares’ track record of responsible innovation and high quality products, combined with Credit Suisse’s heritage, will offer local investors an expanded range of ETFs and an even stronger on-the-ground support,” said Christian Gast, head of iShares Switzerland.

Martin Keller, head of distribution for Core Investments at Credit Suisse added: “In BlackRock we have found a buyer who is a leader in the ETF industry with a successful track record and well established products. Credit Suisse will remain a large investor of ETFs through our Private Banking and Wealth Management division and will partner closely with BlackRock to broaden the ETF product offering for our clients. We believe that BlackRock is well positioned to realise the long-term value of our ETF business.”


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