Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2007 (Revised November 2007)

Barclays Global Investors and Exchange Traded Funds

by Luis M. Viceira and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


Provides an overview of the Exchange Traded Funds (EFT) industry and highlights the leadership role that Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has played in this developing asset class. BGI launched its first ETFs under the iShares brand name in 2000, and by mid-2007 BGI was the global leader in the $600 billion ETF market. BGI's success had started attracting the interest of other large asset management firms, and Lee Kranefuss, CEO of BGI's iShares business was thinking about how BGI should compete in the increasingly crowded market. Should BGI expand into Europe and Asia more aggressively? Should BGI, already a large manager of 401(k) assets for corporations, pursue the 401(k) market with its iShares products? Would BGI need to cut its fees as other competitors such as Vanguard started marketing its "low-cost" ETF products?

Keywords: History; Venture Capital; Asset Management; Stocks; Investment Funds; Leading Change; Expansion; Competitive Strategy; Capital Markets; Global Strategy; Financial Strategy; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry; Asia; Europe;


Viceira, Luis M., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Barclays Global Investors and Exchange Traded Funds." Harvard Business School Case 208-033, October 2007. (Revised November 2007.)