Introducing FlexShares Family of Exchange Traded Funds

September 26, 2011

Media Contact:

Doug Holt




CHICAGO -- Northern Trust (NASDAQ: NTRS), a leading provider of financial services for institutions and individuals, announced today the launch of FlexShares, a new family of exchange traded funds based on indexes created and maintained by Morningstar, Inc. and Markit. Four ETFs are now available, each designed to provide flexibility to construct, allocate and manage portfolios according to real-world goals. 

The FlexShares funds available on the New York Stock Exchange include:

  • FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index Fund
  • FlexShares Morningstar U.S. Market Factor Tilt Index Fund
  • FlexShares iBoxx 3-Year Target Duration TIPS Index Fund
  • FlexShares iBoxx 5-Year Target Duration TIPS Index Fund

“FlexShares represent Northern Trust’s global expertise in asset management, investment solutions and risk management,” said Shundrawn Thomas, head of Northern Trust’s Exchange Traded Funds Group. “With $684 billion in assets under management, Northern Trust has deep connections to sophisticated investors, and FlexShares reflect our insights into investor needs in an evolving marketplace. FlexShares are designed to help construct and manage portfolios that seek to achieve investor goals, while offering all the traditional benefits of ETFs.”

  • FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index Fund [GUNR] – Seeks to offer balanced exposure to rising global demand for natural resources, emphasizing companies with business interests in the early stages of the resource supply chain.

    “Exposure to natural resource commodities is an investment strategy tool for investors to participate in the rising prices of raw materials because of increased global demand,” Thomas said. “At a time when natural resources are gaining in strategic importance to nations, companies and investors, an allocation to these assets can be a useful component of a diversified investment portfolio. We worked with Morningstar, leveraging its deep research and index construction experience, to create an index with efficient, global exposure to a broad array of upstream-focused natural resource-related  companies.”
  • FlexShares Morningstar U.S. Market Factor Tilt Index Fund [TILT] – Seeks to offer an alternative exposure to the broad U.S. stock market by tilting the portfolio to capture the size and value premiums in the equity market. 

    “Morningstar’s index captures 99.5 percent of the U.S. market,” Thomas said. “With a rules-based tilt toward small cap and value, the FlexShares Morningstar U.S. Market Factor Tilt Index ETF counterbalances the inherent bias toward large-growth companies embedded in market-weighted mutual funds.”
  • FlexShares iBoxx 3-Year Target Duration TIPS [TDTT] and FlexShares iBoxx  5-Year Target Duration TIPS Index Funds [TDTF] – Seek to provide investors access to Treasury Inflation Protected Securities with stable duration exposure through changing interest rate and economic cycles. The funds’ secondary goal of income generation may also help diversify portfolios. iBoxx is a family of independent bond indexes  provided by Markit, a leading financial information services company. 

    “The FlexShares TIPS ETFs precisely target TIPS durations, seeking to provide investors with more efficient inflation-hedging strategies than market-weighted investment products,” Thomas said. “Using indexes developed by Markit, these are the first ETFs to offer investors a passively managed, liquid investment vehicle that effectively removes duration variability in a TIPS portfolio.” 

An investment in FlexShares is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal amount invested.  Fund returns may not match the return of their respective Index.  The Funds’ may invest in emerging and foreign markets, derivatives and concentrated sectors.  In addition, the Funds’ may be subject to asset class risk, small cap stock risk, value investing risk, non- diversification risk, fluctuation of yield, income risk, interest rate/maturity risk, currency risk, passive investment risk, inflation protected security risk, market risk and manager risk.  For a complete description of risks associated with each Fund please refer to the prospectus.

Before investing carefully consider the FlexShares investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses.  This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting http://www.flexshares.com.  Read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

FlexShares ETFs are distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC, not affiliated with Northern Trust.

Duration is a measurement of how long, in years, it takes for the price of a bond to be repaid by its internal cash flows. 

About FlexShares

FlexShares is a suite of ETF products designed to pursue real-world goals by evolving the process of ETF development, providing flexibility for meeting investor needs. FlexShares Funds are sponsored by Northern Trust. Individual investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor or online broker.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation is a leading provider of investment management, asset and fund administration, banking solutions and fiduciary services for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. Northern Trust, a financial holding company based in Chicago, has offices in 18 U.S. states and 16 international locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2011, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$4.4 trillion, and assets under investment management of US$684.1 billion. For more than 120 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader in combining exceptional service and expertise with innovative products and technology. For more information, visit www.northerntrust.com.

About Morningstar, Inc.

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 400,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries and has more than $180 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2011. The company has operations in 26 countries.

The FlexShares Morningstar ETFs are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Morningstar, and Morningstar makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in them.

About Markit

Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 2,300 employees.  The company provides independent data, valuations and trade processing across all asset classes in order to enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency.  Its client base includes the most significant institutional participants in the financial marketplace.  For more information, please see www.markit.com.

The FlexShares iBoxx ETFs are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Markit, and Markit makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in them.