BlackRock fails to win support for iShares ETF switch to ESG index

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BlackRock will not go ahead with plans to switch a €1.4bn iShares corporate bond exchange traded fund to an environmental, social and governance index, after a shareholder meeting to approve the change failed to reach quorum.

Last month the world’s largest asset manager proposed changing the index for its €1.4bn iShares € Corp Bond ex-Financials Ucits ETF to the Bloomberg MSCI Euro Corporate ex Financials Sustainable SRI index.

The Dublin-domiciled ETF, which launched in 2009, currently tracks the Bloomberg Barclays Euro Corporate ex-Financials Bond index.

BlackRock said at the time that the proposal came in response to “increased investor demand for evolving the existing sub-fund to adopt ESG characteristics while maintaining its broad market exposure”.

However, the asset manager has since announced that the extraordinary general meeting held on April 1 to approve the changes “failed to pass as a quorum was not able to be met”.

“The EGM was in relation to a proposed change to the benchmark index of the fund and therefore the investment objective and policy of the fund. The fund will therefore not undergo these proposed changes,” BlackRock said.

The US group added that it would “take action in order to seek to understand the reasons behind the result of the EGM”.

*Ignites Europe is a news service published by FT Specialist for professionals working in the asset management industry. It covers everything from new product launches to regulations and industry trends. Trials and subscriptions are available at igniteseurope.com.

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