Exchange traded funds are a key part of BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) effort to balance its vaunted institutional business by attracting retail investors — individuals and financial advisors.

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, bought the iShares ETF business from Barclays a couple years ago. ETFs are baskets of securities that trade on exchanges like individual stocks.

As part of a plan to attract more financial advisors and individual investors, the firm is counting on the San Francisco-based iShares unit as BlackRock looks beyond serving large investors such as pensions and endowments, reports Dakin Campbell for Bloomberg.

Michael Latham, chairman of iShares, wants to capitalize on the growing popularity of ETFs and the shift to more passive investing, according to the report.

“Over the next five to 10 years, retail markets will understand the value of mixing passive and active together,” Latham commented. “iShares will be a great way for them to get that exposure.”

Showing Page 1 of 2