New York, NY – In response to a growing appetite amongst investors for cash solutions that meaningfully consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, BlackRock has announced the launch of the BlackRock Institutional Cash (ICS) LEAF series. As the first UCITS fund range of its kind, LEAF funds provide investors with same-day access to liquidity in Sterling, Euro and U.S. Dollar through investment in securities issued or guaranteed by entities that meet the funds’ explicit Environmental and other characteristics, including Social and Governance factors (ESG).
As with U.S. LEAF which launched last month, BlackRock will commit 5% of the net revenue from management fees collected from the ICS LEAF series to purchase and subsequently retire carbon offsets.
Commenting on the launch, Peter Loehnert, Head of International Cash Management at BlackRock said: “Sustainable investing is about smart investing and recognising that companies seeking to solve the world’s biggest challenges may be best positioned to grow. This launch provides greater choice to investors wishing to align their financial and ESG goals, and complements our ongoing efforts to integrate sustainability-related insights and data into our investment platform.”
The ICS LEAF series considers ESG through its credit process and exclusionary screens, creating three important distinctions from BlackRock’s existing range of MMFs:
1. Investments are made in a range of money market instruments whose issuer or guarantor has better-than-average performance in environmental practices (as determined by MSCI).
2. At the time of purchase, issuers must not have been involved in violations of the UN Global Compact.
3. The funds exclude investments in companies that earn a specified percentage (0-15%) of revenue from fossil fuels, thermal coal, nuclear energy, controversial weapons, tar/oil sands, civilian firearms and tobacco.