• iShares and NAB Private Wealth join forces to launch three new low-cost ETFs
  • Megatrend ITEK ETF capitalises on popularity of thematic ETFs combining six into one 
  • NAB’s online investing platform nabtrade launches dedicated ETF centre, looks to partner with global providers

iShares ETFs, which is managed by one of the world’s biggest fund managers BlackRock, has joined forces with NAB Private Wealth to launch two multi-asset ETFs and a first of its kind “megatrends” thematic ETF.

In a statement, BlackRock said today’s listing of iShares Balanced ESG ETF (IBAL) (ASX:IBAL), iShares High Growth ESG ETF IGRO (ASX:IGRO) and the iShares Future Tech Innovators ETF ITEK (ASX:ITEK) offer “a low-cost, well-diversified investment solution to help Australians achieve their long-term financial and sustainable investment goals”.

Based on NAB’s client insights, the bank and BlackRock reckon there is “strong demand from Australian retail investors for simple, low-cost, holistic investment options that they can use to build a globally diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds”.

They’re also banking on Australian retail investors’ love affair with gaining exposures to global megatrends such as “technological innovation and sustainability that are otherwise more complex or costly to access”.  Although, it’s worth pointing out some of Australia’s worst performing ETFs in FY22 were thematic ETFs.

IBAL and IGRO sustainable investment approach

IBAL and IGRO seek to provide investors with a core exposure to a globally diversified, sustainable multi-asset portfolio based on balanced or growth risk considerations. With management fees priced for IBAL and IGRO at 22 basis points the ETFs are designed to be low-cost.

IBAL has an evenly balanced allocation between global equities and global fixed income, while IGRO is tilted toward growth with a higher allocation to equities and a smaller allocation to global fixed income.

BlackRock said its multi-asset strategy and solutions (MASS) team will set and review the long-term strategic asset allocation (SAA) of IBAL and IGRO.

ITEK rolls six thematics ETFs into one

ITEK draws on the global iShares megatrend product range and is made up of an evenly weighted portfolio of six iShares thematic ETFs. ITEK offers Australian retail investors exposure to global technological innovation trends including electric vehicles and driving tech, healthcare, robotics and automation, digitalisation, clean energy and smart city infrastructure. According to the product statement the management fee for ITEK is priced at 55 basis points.

BlackRock Australasia head of wealth Chantal Giles and NAB head of customer experience Greg Bowrey

BlackRock Australasia head of wealth Chantal Giles said the new ETFs offer an affordable, holistic investment option for investors to build a broadly diversified portfolio in a simple trade.

“Investors are increasingly looking to the convenience of ETFs to take the necessary steps to meet their long-term financial and sustainable investment goals in the context of their whole portfolio,” Giles said.

“The fact that anyone can access these opportunities, and the underlying transformative trends, via an ETF represents how far we’ve come in making investing simpler, efficient and more affordable for everyone.”

“Based on our shared experience with NAB Private Wealth, ESG considerations are a key priority for Australian investors as they seek to build resilience into their portfolios by gaining exposure to sustainability-related opportunities over the long term,” said BlackRock Australasia Head of iShares and Index Investments Jason Collins.

“The rise of millennials and new self-directed investors have given rise to megatrend investing as they seek to take advantage of the transformative growth trends that will reshape how we live and work in the future.”

NAB launches dedicated ETFs centre

To coincide with the launch and growing popularity of ETFs, nabtrade has launched its dedicated ETF centre at nabtrade.com.au/etfs.  Executive, NAB Private Wealth, Justin Greiner, said the bank was looking to partner with global and local leaders to deliver unique and innovative investment solutions to its clients.

“As one of the global pioneers in ETF investing, BlackRock iShares is known for the breadth of its global offering, sustainability focus, and investor education in helping investors understand how they should think about portfolio construction,” Greiner said.