BlackRock completed its merger with Barclays Global Investors yesterday to become the third largest manager of money market mutual funds worldwide with over $300 billion in assets (as of Nov. 30, according to Crane Data). While the funds remain distinct entities for now, rebranding has already begun with the Barclays name being replaced by BlackRock (and BGI with BCF). BlackRock remains the fifth largest money fund manager in the U.S. with over $215 billion, but Barclays large "offshore" money fund presence adds to the new entities' heft outside the U.S.

A new "Q&A for shareholders of the BlackRock Liquidity Funds" says, "Please describe BlackRock's Cash Management business. With $355 billion in liquidity assets under management (as of Sept. 30, 2009), the new BlackRock will be one of the only cash businesses with a leading position in every major market in the liquidity space: U.S. retail, U.S. institutional and international cash."

It asks, "Will there be changes to BlackRock's approach to managing cash? No. BlackRock's conservative approach to cash management has been consistent throughout our long history of managing money market funds and other short-term cash assets. This unwavering commitment is one of the primary reasons cash investors have made BlackRock among the largest managers of liquidity assets in the world. Our extensive experience through multiple interest rate cycles and market events, our rigorous credit standards and our unremitting focus on risk management have enabled us to consistently and successfully target the fundamental objectives of cash investors -- safety, liquidity and yield."

"Will there be changes to the portfolio management team? The cash portfolio management team will continue to be led from Wilmington, DE, by BlackRock veterans Rich Hoerner, CFA and Chris Stavrakos, CFA with investment centers located in London, New York City, Princeton, NJ and San Francisco. The integration will combine the talents of both the legacy BGI and BlackRock teams into a single unit, following BlackRock's team approach to portfolio management."

"Will there be a change to my account manager? The Global Client Group for cash management has been reorganized to more effectively serve our combined client base. As a result, you may experience a change in account manager; affected clients will be introduced to their new contact in the coming weeks." For more information, visit BlackRock's Cash website.

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