iShares(TM) ETF campaign launched to advocate change in Canada's investment industry

    Barclays Canada calls on the investment community to 'ask the right
    questions' and to consider one essential question - is it right for the

    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's leading provider of Exchange
Traded Funds (ETFs), Barclays Global Investors Canada Limited ("Barclays
Canada"), launched a thought-provoking campaign designed to openly challenge
the status quo in the Canadian investment landscape and encourage other
players to do the same. The campaign, called 'Ask the Right Questions,' will
unfold in a series of bold ads targeting the investment community and will
raise issues such as:

    -   Canada has the highest MERs(*) in the developed world. Should your
        clients care?
    -   Your client wants only well-known funds. Do you challenge their
    -   Your client has high expectations for their portfolio. Do you work on
        boosting returns without discussing risk?
    -   Your clients' funds aren't doing as well as their benchmarks. How
        concerned are you?
    -   Your client is asked about their asset mix. Would they know the

    "The Campaign was developed to generate awareness and raise questions
that would provoke thinking and advocate for more truth, clearer investment
decisions and responsible actions on the part of all industry players - the
things we strive for and represent with our iShares Funds," said Heather
Pelant, Head of iShares, Barclays Canada.
    Specifically, the campaign is designed to speak out against some of the
current flaws in the nature of the Canadian investment landscape. These flaws,
according to Barclays Canada, are systematic problems like: questionable
product design, hidden costs, tax inefficiencies and incomplete advice. "This
campaign is our opportunity to include our voice in a growing movement that
demands better practices in our industry," said Pelant. "It is time to foster
an environment of due diligence and evolve toward a more disciplined, rational
and clearly thought out approach to investing -- one that champions science
over emotion, knowledge over ignorance and transparency over everything."
    "I applaud Barclays Canada on launching this campaign because the need
for frank discussion about advisor independence and motive is long overdue,"
said John De Goey, CFP and author of The Professional Financial Advisor II:
How the financial services industry hides the ugly truth. "This campaign
invites a very important dialogue and it makes sense for it to come from
iShares because their products are truly transparent - they compete on the
basis of merit and suitability for clients."
    As an investment vehicle, ETFs are recognized for providing greater
transparency, low cost diversification and tax efficiency across all major
asset classes. "I don't think that most investors realize the dramatic impact
that MERs have on their portfolios which is why ETFs are such an important
investment vehicle," said Rick Robertson, Professor of Finance at the Richard
Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. "It's no wonder they
are the fastest growing investment trend out there today."

    About Barclays Canada

    Barclays Canada is an indirect subsidiary of Barclays PLC and part of
Barclays Global Investors (BGI), a division of Barclays PLC and one of the
largest institutional investment managers in the world and the largest manager
of index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). BGI leads the world in ETFs,
with over 200 iShares Funds representing over $400 (USD) billion in assets. As
at December 31, 2007, Barclays Canada managed over $74 billion in Canadian
assets and in other assets for Canadian clients, including over $17 billion in
the TSX-listed iShares Funds. Barclays Canada has offices in Toronto, Montreal
and Vancouver.

    (*)Management Expense Ratios

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview: Contact for Media:
Lindsay Mattick Davidson, Narrative Advocacy Media, T - (416) 644-4123, C -
(416) 908-7360, Email:; All other
inquiries: 1-866-iShares (1-866-474-2737) Email:

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