Exchange Traded Funds 'made simple' for pension funds | PLSA
Exchange Traded Funds 'made simple' for pension funds

Exchange Traded Funds 'made simple' for pension funds

08 March 2012

 ETF Made Simple

A new guide is being published today (Thursday) by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) to help pension funds get to grips with the increasingly popular Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Exchange Traded Funds made simple is a new addition to the NAPF successful made simple series. It is launched today at the NAPF Investment Conference in Edinburgh.

By allowing investors to trade whole markets as a single company share, ETFs can offer pension funds the ease, flexibility and cost efficiency to invest in financial markets.

The guide explains:

• What ETFs are and how they work

• The different structures and features that pension fund investors may encounter

• The different roles for ETFs in a pension fund investment portfolio.

• The factors to be considered when evaluating an ETF and an ETF provider to help ensure that any ETF investment is appropriate to meet the investment aims of the pension scheme.

NAPF Chief Executive Joanne Segars said:

“Pension funds are under huge pressure to maximise their investment returns, and are seeking solutions that will help them achieve this objective.

“Our made simple guide is focusing on Exchange Traded Funds, which have risen in popularity since their introduction in the early 1990s.

“The guide explains in a concise and simple way what pension trustees and managers should know when dealing with them. We hope it will provide a useful overview.”

The guide is written and sponsored by iShares, which is part of BlackRock. David Bower, Head of UK for iShares said:

“Many managers who invest on behalf of pension funds already utilise ETFs for cost efficient access to global markets.  We have produced this guide so that trustees and their advisers understand exactly what ETFs are and how they can contribute to the long-term objectives of a pension fund.”

The guide (hard copy) costs £18 for NAPF members and £35 for non-members. It can be ordered here

Notes to editors:

1. The Exchange Traded Funds made simple will be launched at the NAPF Investment Conference in Edinburgh (NAPF stand) on Thursday 8 March at 17.15.

2. Other recent made simple guides include Alternative Investments made simple, Foreign Exchange made simple, Hedge Funds made simple, Stewardship made simple and Derivatives made simple.

3. iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 410 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 16 exchanges worldwide. The iShares funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.

4. BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At December 31, 2011, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.513 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients’ needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of December 31, 2011, the firm has approximately 10,100 employees in 27 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at

5. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members

and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.


Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]

Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]

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