Martin Gilbert: Adapt like ETFs, or get left behind

Mutual funds need to constantly innovate

clock • 3 min read
Martin Gilbert, formerly of Aberdeen Asset Management
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Martin Gilbert, formerly of Aberdeen Asset Management

"In the long term the important question for a company is not what you are but what you are becoming," said Gary Hamel, management consultant.

Hamel's comment strikes a chord and is a reminder that in business (as in life) we should look to the future. A great example of this is BlackRock's acquisition of iShares from Barclays back in 2009 in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. A time when a number of banks and insurers sold their asset management businesses to strengthen their much weakened balance sheets. The $15.2bn price tag paid by BlackRock for a $1.4trn passive book looked good value back then and now looks an outstanding deal. BlackRock's CEO, Larry Fink, understandably saw great potential in iShares and it...

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