BlackRock (NYSE: BLK ), the global investment management corporation, announced today that it will be shutting down its Aquila Emerging Markets fund. The decision comes after recognizing excessive operational costs and a decline in investor interest, which could lead to a potential reduction in assets under management (AUM) that adversely affects economies of scale. This fund was benchmarked against the S&P IFCI (NS: IFCI ) Emerging Markets Composite Ex Malaysia index, catering specifically to UK-defined contribution scheme participants.
In addition to the closure of the Aquila EM fund, BlackRock reported that its Market Advantage fund had not met its investment objective of outperforming the 3-month SONIA rate by 3.5% over a five-year period. In response, BlackRock has implemented enhanced performance monitoring and is adjusting its investment process. The changes are aimed at increasing macroeconomic sensitivity and improving volatility management, with the goal of bolstering future performance. Signs of recovery since September 2022 have provided confidence in the long-term prospects of the fund.
As part of these strategic updates, BlackRock plans to revise the prospectus for the Market Advantage fund to more clearly communicate its strategies. These strategies are focused on achieving balanced market exposure that aligns with the fund's investment objectives.
In related news, BlackRock's Chief Financial Officer Martin S. Small is scheduled to speak at the Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) US Financial Services Conference on December 5, 2023. His presentation is set for approximately 2:20 p.m. ET (7:20 p.m. UTC) and will be live-streamed via BlackRock's Investor Relations website section. A replay of the session will be available for ninety days following the event. For further details or inquiries, Caroline Rodda and Ed Sweeney have been designated as points of contact for investors and media respectively.
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