Barclays’ iShares, the largest exchange traded fund (ETF) family in the United States, is searching for a new home.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in the ETF industry, says Will Swarts at SmartMoney. PowerShares was bought by Invesco. ETFs from other companies have been liquidated or folded into other offerings, as well. Most recently, Northern Trust closed their line of single-country funds.
There are currently 739 ETFs holding $451 billion in assets.
Who could be taking a look? Speculators say that big mutual fund companies such as Fidelity may be a good fit, as would Charles Schwab, a discount brokerage that recently filed for its own ETF. Few industry players have the kind of cash necessary to make such a big buy.
ETF investors shouldn’t worry, though. The sale of iShares says more about the banking climate in the United Kingdom than it does about the state of ETFs. If a sale takes place, the whole process should go smoothly simply because there’s too much at stake in the industry. iShares is a huge name and a profitable brand – they aren’t going anywhere.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.