Retail Money Market Fund to Focus on Environmental Criteria
Increasing Access to Environmentally Aware Investing by Making Cash More Green
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BlackRock Cash Management has filed an amendment to the registration statement for the BlackRock Money Market Portfolio to convert it to the BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or “the Fund”), the first environmentally aware money market product dedicated for the U.S. wealth market. WeLEAF will expand BlackRock’s nearly $8 billion1 suite of environmentally aware cash products, offering retail clients the option to align their cash investments with their sustainability objectives.
WeLEAF, a retail prime money market fund, will seek to invest, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. Under the Fund’s investment policies, an issuer or guarantor may meet such criteria if it, at the time of the Fund’s investment, has better than average performance in environmental practices. The Fund may also invest in green bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from their sale will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. WeLEAF will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement, or from thermal coal or nuclear energy-based power generation.
“We have received overwhelming support from clients large and small since the launch of our Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“LEAF”) series of sustainable money funds,” said Thomas Callahan, Head of Global Cash Management at BlackRock. “Client interest in our LEAF series has revealed tremendous demand for sustainable liquidity management. WeLEAF was designed to answer the call of our Private Wealth distribution partners, who are seeking a money market fund product that appeals to the growing segment of their clients that care deeply about sustainability and climate risk.”
In 2019, BlackRock launched the industry’s first environmentally-focused cash management strategy, the LEAF series, for institutional clients in the U.S. Today, the LEAF series, which includes funds that incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations, comprises nearly $8 billion1 in assets managed by BlackRock.
In addition to using at least 5% of its net revenue from management fees it earns through WeLEAF to purchase and retire carbon credits either directly or through a third-party organization, BlackRock also has a licensing agreement with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading environmental nonprofit dedicated to environmental and wildlife protection. As part of the agreement, BlackRock contributes annually to WWF to help further its global conservation efforts. With respect to BlackRock’s purchase of carbon credits, such purchases will be made at least annually, with BlackRock maintaining the option to increase, decrease or terminate these purchases in its sole discretion at any time. With respect to BlackRock’s licensing agreement with WWF, (i) BlackRock will make a payment to WWF in 2020; (ii) WeLEAF and its underlying investments are not endorsed by WWF; and (iii) WWF has no responsibility for, or role in managing or administering, WeLEAF or choosing any of WeLEAF’s investments.
Expanding LEAF is part of BlackRock’s commitment to clients to increase access to sustainable investing for all types of investors and make sustainability integral to how the firm manages risk, constructs portfolios and designs products.
BlackRock manages approximately $546 billion of cash assets globally as of December 31, 2019. To bring the environmentally aware strategy to retail clients, the Board of Trustees of BlackRock Funds℠, on behalf of the $3.2 billion2 BlackRock Money Market Portfolio (PINXX), has approved changes to BlackRock Money Market Portfolio’s existing name, investment objective, investment strategies and risks.
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, our clients turn to us for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of December 31, 2019, the firm managed approximately $7.43 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate | Twitter: @blackrock | Blog: www.blackrockblog.com | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/blackrock.
This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.
An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. The Fund’s prospectuses contain this and other information about the Fund and are available by calling our Client Service Center at 800-441-7450 or by visiting www.blackrock.com/cash. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
The information in WeLEAF’s prospectuses and Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. WeLEAF may not sell its securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. WeLEAF’s prospectuses and Statement of Additional Information are not an offer to sell WeLEAF’s securities and are not soliciting an offer to buy such securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in WeLEAF. Although WeLEAF seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. WeLEAF may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if WeLEAF’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in WeLEAF is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. WeLEAF’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to WeLEAF at any time.
Prepared by BlackRock Investments, LLC, member FINRA.
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1 As of December 31, 2019
2 As of March 4, 2020