BlackRock is expanding its suite of alternative funds by launching the BlackRock Global Long/Short Equity Fund (BDMAX, BDMIX), which will bet on equity markets across the US and international developed markets.

The fund will be managed by a 12-member team led by Raffaele Savi, Managing Director, and a member of BlackRock’s Scientific Active Equity Investment Group, responsible for BlackRock’s North American, European, and Developed Market Equity Strategies. The fund will also will employ derivatives to lower volatility.

“This is part of the effort at BlackRock for a few years now to expand our alternative absolute return products,” Savi told Money Management Executive. “The market has been volatile and interest rates are low so additional diversification is very important for investors. We see cross-border opportunities with volatility developing across countries.”

The fund will bet on a portfolio of 300 to 500 names across 25 developed countries, according to Savi. Its management fee is 150 basis points.

BlackRock’s current lineup of alterrnative mutual funds include: BlackRock Commodity Strategies Fund (BCSAX), BlackRock Emerging Markets Long/Short Equity Fund (BLSAX), BlackRock Global Long/Short Credit Fund (BGCAX) and the BlackRock US Real Estate Securities Strategy Fund (BAREX).

Going forward, Savi also mentioned that the firm is looking into offering multi-asset income, risk parity and managed volatility alternative mutual funds.

BlackRock managed some $3.8 trillion in assets as of December 31, 2012. To date, the firm manages $115 billion in alternative investments assets globally including hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, real estate and private equity. Its alternative mutual fund book total some $1.4 billion in total assets.

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