Press Release - November 13, 2014

 
CHICAGO —
 
FlexShares Launches Credit‐Scored US Corporate Bond Index ETF
 

FlexShares® Exchange Traded Funds, sponsored and managed by Northern Trust, today introduced FlexShares Credit‐Scored US Corporate Bond Index Fund (Nasdaq: SKOR), a fixed income portfolio consisting of corporate debt securities selected using a proprietary credit evaluation process.  The Fund focuses on an intermediate maturity, with securities ranging from 2 to 10 years in maturity.

The FlexShares® Credit‐Scored US Corporate Bond Index Fund features:

  • An accessible and efficient investment product which provides exposure to U.S. corporate debt
  • An exclusion of illiquid and smaller issuers for improved liquidity and transparency
  • A proprietary credit score used to evaluate and rank the universe of issuers
  • Optimization to maximize exposure to the credit score while maintaining a similar spread and duration to the universe
  • An index-based strategy with competitive fees.

"Regulatory changes impacting the fixed income capital markets and persistent low interest rates have caused institutional investors and financial advisors to reassess their investment options for exposure to corporate bonds," said Shundrawn A. Thomas, head of Northern Trust's Funds and Managed Accounts Group. "The FlexShares® Credit-Scored US Corporate Bond Index Fund employs a rules-based methodology that incorporates forward-looking financial metrics to optimize credit risk while providing improved transparency and liquidity as compared to legacy corporate bond benchmarks."

The underlying index is the Northern Trust Credit-Scored US Corporate Bond Index. It is designed to measure the performance of a diversified universe of intermediate maturity, U.S.-dollar denominated bonds of companies with investment grade-like characteristics, and enhanced short-term and long-term solvency.  To promote liquidity, securities must have an effective maturity of 2-10 years and at least $500mm in amount outstanding to be eligible for inclusion.  The index's construction utilizes an optimization process which has primary objectives of maximizing exposure to our proprietary credit-score, while also maintaining an option adjusted spread and effective duration similar to the eligible universe.  The proprietary credit-score seeks to identify companies that exhibit strength in management efficiency, profitability, and solvency.

For more information, please visit www.flexshares.com

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 www.flexshares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest. 

Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor. 

About FlexShares

FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds are designed to pursue specific investment goals across both passive and active strategies.  FlexShares offers differentiated ETF strategies that improve and simplify the investment decision process for the long-term investor.  For more information, please visit www.flexshares.com

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of investment management, asset servicing, fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions, families and individuals worldwide.  Chicago-based Northern Trust has offices in 19 states, Washington, D.C., and 19 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.  As of September 30, 2014, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$6 trillion, and assets under investment management of US$923 billion.  For 125 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 and follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.  

An investment in FlexShares is subject to numerous risks, including possible loss of principal.  Fund returns may not match the return of the respective indexes.  The Funds are subject to the following principal risks: asset class; commodity; concentration; counterparty; currency; derivatives; dividend; emerging markets; equity securities; fluctuation of yield; foreign securities; geographic; income; industry concentration; inflation-protected securities; infrastructure-related companies; interest rate / maturity risk; issuer; management; market; market trading; mid cap stock; MLP; natural resources; new funds; non-diversification; passive investment; privatization; small cap stock; tracking error; value investing; and volatility risk.  A full description of risks is in the prospectus. 

In addition, FlexShares Credit-Scored US Corporate Bond Index Fund is subject corporate bond risk, which is the risk that the issuer is unable to meet principal and interest rate payments on the obligation and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as interest rate sensitivity, market perception of credit worthiness of and general market liquidity.  When interest rates rise, the value of corporate debt can be expected to decline.    The Fund may invest in derivative instruments.  Changes in the value of the derivative may not correlate with the underlying asset, rate or index and the Fund could lose more than the principal amount invested. The Fund is also non-diversified meaning the Fund performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers because the Fund may invest a large percentage of assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers.

Duration is the sensitivity of a fixed income security’s price to a change in interest rates.

Spread is the difference in the yield on a corporate bond and a government bond with a similar maturity.