6. iShares

When ETFs started trading for the first time back in 1993, one of the first ETF families offered to investors was iShares. In 1996, Barclays Global Investors, which at the time was the company that owned iShares, managed the precursors of iShares, a series of World Equity Benchmark Shares referred to as WEBS. The 17 WEBS were developed by Morgan Stanley and they tracked Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) single country indices. WEBS laid the foundation for BGI’s future ETF expansion. In 2000, the firm launched the brand name “iShares” by rebranding the WEBS and launching nearly 50 new iShares ETFs in one year. Over the course of a few years, iShares became the largest ETF manager in the U.S. and around the globe in terms ...

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