SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

October 31, 2006 11:00 ET

Vanguard ETF Veteran Noel Archard Joins Barclays Global Investors' iShares Business

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 31, 2006 -- Barclays Global Investors announced today that Noel Archard was named Head of Product Development for the U.S. iShares Business, which is the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) market leader, in terms of number of products and market share in the U.S. and around the globe(1). Mr. Archard will manage a team responsible for the strategy of the iShares product development program. Mr. Archard was formerly with Vanguard where he played a key role in the expansion of the Vanguard ETF lineup.

"We're pleased to have well-respected ETF expert Noel Archard join the iShares team," said Lee Kranefuss, CEO of BGI's Exchange Traded Products Business. "Noel's product development and sales and marketing skills make him uniquely qualified to help us build on the high-growth momentum of iShares product innovation."

Mr. Archard joins BGI after more than ten years at Vanguard, where most recently he was the Principal responsible for Institutional ETF Sales Management since November 2005, determining the strategy for increasing product placement within multiple institutional investor sub-channels. From August 2003 to November 2005, he was in charge of VIPERs Product Management, working on the development, launch and sales and marketing of Vanguard's ETFs. Prior to that, Mr. Archard worked in Vanguard's Brokerage Services in several positions, including Senior Manager of the Business Development and Strategy Group.

"I am excited by the rapid growth and pace of innovation within the ETF industry," said Mr. Archard. "I believe BGI has the right combination of talent, resources and vision to continue to be the market leader in this fast-growing industry."

The iShares Funds are index funds that are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account.

Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds' prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares or by visiting www.ishares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Barclays Global Investors is one of the world's largest asset managers(2) providing structured investment strategies such as risk-controlled active strategies and indexing. In the U.S., BGI is one of the largest active managers(3), set apart by its risk-controlled approach. BGI manages 65% of the world's 100 largest pension plans(4) and is the global leader in assets and products in the exchange traded funds through its iShares® brand with more than 180 ETFs. The firm managed over $1.6 trillion in assets as of 6/30/06, for more than 2,800 clients in 52 countries around the world. BGI is owned by Barclays PLC.

There are risks involved with investing, including possible loss of principal.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds ("Funds") will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. Mutual funds and iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders.

Shares of the Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units.

The Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SEI). Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) serves as an advisor to the Funds. Barclays Global Investors Services (BGIS) assists in the marketing of the Funds. BGFA and BGIS are subsidiaries of Barclays Global Investors, N.A., which is a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI or Vanguard. Information on Vanguard VIPERS is provided strictly for illustrative purposes and should not be deemed on offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any funds other than the iShares Funds that are described herein.

© 2006 Barclays Global Investors. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

(1) Source: "Exchange Traded Funds - First Half of 2006 Global Review," Morgan Stanley, 8/21/2006.

(2) Source: "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 500," Pensions & Investments, September 4, 2006.

(3) Source: "Special Reports: Money Manager Directory," Pensions & Investments, May 29, 2006.

(4) Source: "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 300: Largest Pension Funds," Pensions & Investments, September 18, 2006.