BlackRock of New York, the money management firm which is planning an initial public offering this year, expects to use financial planners to expand the distribution of its mutual funds.

Financial planners will provide one means for BlackRock to diversify fund distribution which will in turn reduce BlackRock's reliance on its corporate parent, PNC Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh, for mutual fund assets. PNC clients accounted for 81 percent, or $19.5 billion, of the $24.2 billion in assets in the BlackRock Funds as of Dec. 31. BlackRock hopes to use fund supermarkets, presumably tailored to financial planners rather than direct investors, and expand its fund distribution through broker/dealers to increase assets under management.

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