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BlackRock to acquire Credit Suisse’s ETF business

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BlackRock is to acquire the exchange-traded funds business of Credit Suisse, further strengthening BlackRock’s position in Switzerland and its offering to Swiss investors.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete by the end of the second quarter of 2013. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
 
BlackRock has a long-standing presence in Switzerland, with a history of service from offices in Zurich and Geneva and over 50 employees based in the country already. The agreement expands on BlackRock’s presence in the Swiss market and represents the firm’s second acquisition in the country in the last 12 months following the purchase of Swiss Re Private Equity Partners in 2012.
 
Credit Suisse manages USD17.6bn across the 58 funds in its ETF range, including USD8.7bn in nine funds domiciled in Switzerland as well as funds domiciled in Ireland and Luxembourg. The business is complementary to BlackRock’s ETF platform, iShares, and will expand iShares’ local product range in Switzerland.
 
The combined platform will enable Swiss-based clients to access the largest European ETF offering across equities, fixed income and gold. Upon completion, the expanded iShares EMEA ETF range will comprise 264 ETFs with USD157.6bn in assets under management.
 
Laurence D Fink, chairman and chief executive of BlackRock, says: “The acquisition we are announcing today represents BlackRock’s continued commitment to the Swiss market and underpins the importance we place on meeting the needs of our clients. This transaction keeps with BlackRock’s growth strategy in the region and provides the necessary scale and presence in the market to further enhance our product suite and deliver client solutions in Switzerland and all of Europe.”
 
Martin Keller, head of distribution for core investments at Credit Suisse, says: “In BlackRock we have found a buyer who is a leader in the ETF industry with a successful track record and well established products. Credit Suisse will remain a large investor of ETFs through our Private Banking and Wealth Management division and will partner closely with BlackRock to broaden the ETF product offering for our clients. We believe that BlackRock is well positioned to realise the long-term value of our ETF business.”

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