BlackRock and Barclays Global Investors have officially merged, giving the iShares exchange traded fund (ETF) business a new home. But will investors notice sweeping changes to the popular funds?

The new company is going to operate under the BlackRock name, but the iShares brand will be retained. The new company now has about $3.2 trillion of assets under management, making it the world’s largest largest institutional money management firm, according to Cinthia Murphy for Index Universe.

The deal went down for about $13.5 billion. BlackRock’s board of directors is absorbing Barclays’ Chief Executive John Varley and Barclays’ President Robert Diamond Jr. (The original plans and report here).

What this means for the iShares line of ETF remains to be seeen, but Blackrock’s CEO Laurence Fink gave a few clues in June. He stated that there are no plans for fees to go higher, and they may even come down some. Fink also suggested that BlackRock would offer a line of actively managed ETFs, too.

iShares holds about 48% of the ETF market and has funds in 15 countries, so this is one deal that’s going to be closely watched.

For more stories about ETF providers, visit our new ETF category.

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.