Fidelity Investments and BlackRock are partnering to provide wider access to BlackRock’s ETF investments, the two companies announced Wednesday.
The long-term strategic alliance will provide advisors with access to BlackRock’s leading ETF provider, iShares, through Fidelity’s distribution and asset management organization.
As a result of the partnership, Fidelity will more than double its current online commission-free ETF offerings and will create new ETF portfolio strategies using iShares as components within its managed account offering, the company said.
BlackRock will also support Fidelity’s passive sector investment management efforts for those ETFs that track an index, according to the companies.
“This long-term partnership will enable millions of investors to maximize the value of ETF investing,” says Mark Wiedman, global head of iShares at BlackRock.
Both companies will support the alliance with personnel focused on delivering iShares ETFs to Fidelity customers through their respective retail and advisor networks, according to a joint statement by the companies.
The move supports Fidelity’s efforts to enhance its ETF commission-free lineup and to provide investors with additional ETF research and tools to help them make investment decisions, Fidelity said. Fidelity will increase the number of iShares ETFs that can be traded commission-free on www.Fidelity.com from 30 to 65, including 10 iShares Core ETFs, as well as a selection of international, domestic and specialized equity, fixed income and commodities.
Customers of registered investment advisors on the Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services platform also will have access to the expanded lineup and new research that should make it easier to integrate the ETFs into client portfolios, says Michael R. Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, which is Fidelity’s RIA custody unit.
As part of the partnership, Fidelity also will expand its managed account offerings by making available new ETF managed portfolios using iShares as components with Portfolio Advisory Services, the Fidelity managed account offering. The ETF managed portfolios will complement Fidelity’s existing mutual fund and unified managed account offerings, Fidelity says.
Fidelity intends to deploy passive sector capabilities as part of its expanding sector-based business strategy and will work with BlackRock to further that goal, according to Fidelity.