Barclays Global Investors

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Barclays Global Investors
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Founded 1964
Headquarters San Francisco, CA
Key People CEO, Blake R. Grossman; Chairman, Robert E. Diamond
Products iShares family of ETFs best known
Website www.barclaysglobal.com

Barclays Global Investors (BGI) is the pioneer of index-investment strategy and creator of popular exchange-traded fund (ETF) family iShares. BGI is the asset management-arm of British bank Barclays and one of the world's largest with around $2 trillion under management and manages ETFs in the U.S. and a dozen global investment markets.

In June 2009, Barclays entered into an agreement to be acquired by BlackRock. In the agreement, BlackRock and BGI would combine to create an asset management firm operating under the name BlackRock Global Investors, with combined assets under management of more than $2.7 trillion, according to BlackRock.[1]

History

BGI began its existence in 1964 as part of San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo. In 1971 it developed the investment industry's first index strategy followed in 1977 by the market's first quantitative active strategy.[2] BGI today has over $2 trillion in assets under management, of which $1.3 trillion is managed in index funds compared to $492 billion in enhanced-index and active funds,[3] making BGI the world's largest index-fund manager.

Products and Services

BGI's iShares, a growing family of over 160 exchange-traded funds across 12 investment sectors,[4] have proved very popular with traders and investors since their introduction in 2000 and the number of global iShares funds recently expanded to 65. BGI adheres strictly to a quantitative management style that avoids guesswork in the investment process.

Key People

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Global CEO Blake R. Grossman oversees and directs the strategic development of BGI's worldwide business.[5] Grossman joined BGI in 1985 at the age of 23 and founded its Advanced Active Strategies Group (AASG) in 1992 after a stint running BGI's global index and enhanced equities strategies business. He later became Global Chief Investment Officer with overall responsibility for the AASG around the world.

Grossman has employed quantitative analysis to break BGI free of the conservative buy-and-hold strategy of most large money managers and employ both long and short positions to attmept to profit from all markets.[6] Consequently, BGI has moved beyond index investing to become a major player in the pension fund and hedge fund markets by building a system of short/long investing that Grossman claims strips emotions like fear and greed from the fund-management process.

Latest News

BGI parent company Barclay's recently came to the rescue of troubled London hedge fund Endeavour Capital, which had earlier lost more than a quarter of its value ($800 million) in a single day. BGI, for its part, has agreed to promote a new Endeavour fund launch to investors in return for some trading algorithms.[7]

References

  1. BlackRock To Acquire Barclays Global Investors. Securities Industry News.
  2. History of Innovation. BGI.
  3. Industry Rankings. BGI.
  4. Product Information. iShares.
  5. Global Leadership. BGI.
  6. Barclays Ph.D.s Build Hedge Fund Giant Inside Bank. Bloomberg.
  7. Barclays steps in to help ailing Endeavour. Financial Times.