BlackRock has filed to create proprietary indexes for its iShares exchange-traded funds. The indexes will be "transparent to the public," the exemptive order says, indicating the indexes could be for actively managed ETFs.
While BlackRock does not say how many indexes it is planning or what sectors of the market they will cover, the investment advisor to $632 billion in ETF assets does indicate they will be for equity and/or fixed income funds.
Each index will be rules-based and transparent, with any changes to methodology revealed to the public at least 60 days prior and any readjustments to holdings or weightings revealed at least two days prior.
Industry experts believe BlackRock wants to create indexes for uncharted territory, not to mention reduce costs in light of the ETF price wars that Vanguard started more than two years ago.
If the SEC approves the order, BlackRoack will join the ranks of the handful of ETF providers with their own underlying indexes, including Claymore, Russell and WisdomTree,
BlackRock spokeswoman Christine Hudacko declined to comment on the filings for Reuters.