BlackRock to waive ETF fees for NY Fed

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BlackRock is waiving investment advisory fees on ETFs it buys on behalf of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to documents published Friday.

The world’s largest asset manager may also collect more than $4 million per year for managing a separate portfolio of commercial mortgage-backed securities issued by government agencies.

The new details on fees followed an announcement Tuesday that BlackRock would run three debt-buying programs on behalf of the U.S. central bank, amid unprecedented government efforts to prop up an economy reeling from the spread of coronavirus. These programs include purchasing and running portfolios of agency commercial mortgage-backed securities, newly issued corporate bonds and existing investment-grade corporate bonds and ETFs.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will not pay fees on any ETFs BlackRock buys on its behalf, whether they’re issued by BlackRock or others, according to the documents. BlackRock will also credit any other associated fees it would have collected from purchases of its own ETFs in the program.

“Recent further Fed action from COVID-19 seems to put another layer on a near-40-year bond bull market,” an expert says.
March 26

The new information offers a window into how BlackRock will manage conflicts of interest inherent in its arrangement with the Fed. BlackRock is the world’s largest issuer of ETFs, which has raised questions about how it will remain objective in choosing appropriate investment-grade corporate debt ETFs for the central bank to buy.

Bloomberg News
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