April 2, 2012 / 7:23 PM / 5 years ago

Wiley to head BlackRock Canada iShares as Seif exits

(Reuters) - BlackRock Investments Canada Inc, a unit of New-York based BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), named Mary Anne Wiley head of its iShares unit on Monday as Claymore Investments Inc founder Som Seif departed following the completion of BlackRock's takeover of Claymore.

Wiley, former the head of distribution at iShares, said Seif, the former president and chief executive of Claymore, would stay at BlackRock until mid April to help with the transition.

"We'd like to thank Som for his innovation and contribution to the Canadian ETF (exchange-traded fund) marketplace and for his guidance through the transition," Wiley said in a statement.

Seif founded Claymore in Canada in 2005 and helped it expand to nearly $8 billion in assets, making it one of the fastest-growing investment firms in Canadian history.

BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, acquired Claymore when it bought all of Guggenheim Partners' interest in Claymore in January. The deal closed on March 7.

The acquisition of Canada's No. 2 ETF provider by the No. 1 player gave Blackrock's iShares about a 82 percent market share, with 80 ETFs and C$38.7 billion ($38.7 billion) in assets under management.

Wiley said her strategy in amalgamating the combined product platform of iShares and Claymore would focus on transparency as it expands its product line to compete against both mutual funds and ETFs.

"Our priority is to be the leading provider of ETFs in Canada and frankly one of the leading financial providers in Canada," Wiley said in an interview. "The category is still only 5 percent of mutual funds in Canada, so there is a lot more benefit (to be had) and a lot more room to grow."

She said the ETFs offered by iShares and Claymore had very little overlap, allowing the combined family of funds to broaden its offerings and offer investors even more choice.

iShares said it will terminate the Claymore Inverse 10-Year Government Bond ETF CIB.TO and distribute proceeds to unitholders. Wiley said the fund was speculative in nature and designed for short-term use, and did not fit well with iShares brand and focus on transparency and disclosure.

Wiley said she does not expect there to be any further fund closures. The other newly acquired Claymore funds have been rebranded as iShares funds but their ticker symbols are unchanged, iShares said.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting By Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Peter Galloway

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