Fidelity Partners With BlackRock on ETF Stage

Fidelity has
announced that it is entering into a strategic partnership with BlackRock, Inc.
to provide extensive collaboration across Fidelity’s distribution and asset
management organizations and BlackRock and its leading ETF provider, iShares,
to deliver significant value to investors across a range of ETF initiatives.

This partnership
will give millions of Fidelity customers increased and improved access to a
broad selection of passive ETF solutions provided by iShares, the world’s
largest and most diverse ETF manufacturer.

In other words, if you’re going to
go to a battleship party, you’d better bring a battleship. Fidelity’s lineup
enables them to return the broadsides launched by both Schwab and Vanguard and
others while safeguarding their brand and their ability to build better
satellite solutions through Select Co. This is clear a giant step, but still
just a step toward becoming a true captain of the industry. Given that Fidelity
missed the first boat, they had to build their own to compete. 

Fidelity continues to ramp up and amplify its
ETF product and investing lineup. Today’s announcement signals a significant
shift toward not only offering more lower cost iShares ETFs, but to partnering
with iShares (owned by BlackRock) to build Fidelity branded ETFs. The new additions
to the commission-free iShares ETF lineup include commodity ETFs (from gold and
silver to agriculture), other “speciality” ETFs, as well as more broad market
based ETFs. While ETFS can play a compelling role in any investor’s portfolio,
it is interesting to se that Fidelity is using this new alliance with iShares
to create passive ETF's, particularly (though as yet unseen) passive sector ETF's,
while calling out the fact that they are true believers in their actively managed
Select sector funds. We’ll keep you posted on new developments as they
materialize.

Click here to download the press release.