A press release entitled, "BlackRock Readies First Environmentally Aware Money Market Fund Dedicated for Individual Investors," explains, "BlackRock Cash Management has filed an amendment to the registration statement for the BlackRock Money Market Portfolio to convert it to the BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund ('WeLEAF' or 'the Fund'), the first environmentally aware money market product dedicated for the U.S. wealth market. WeLEAF will expand BlackRock's nearly $8 billion suite of environmentally aware cash products, offering retail clients the option to align their cash investments with their sustainability objectives." The release continues, "WeLEAF, a retail prime money market fund, will seek to invest, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund's environmental criteria. Under the Fund’s investment policies, an issuer or guarantor may meet such criteria if it, at the time of the Fund's investment, has better than average performance in environmental practices. The Fund may also invest in green bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from their sale will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. WeLEAF will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement, or from thermal coal or nuclear energy-based power generation." BlackRock's Thomas Callahan comments, "We have received overwhelming support from clients large and small since the launch of our Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund ('LEAF') series of sustainable money funds.... Client interest in our LEAF series has revealed tremendous demand for sustainable liquidity management. WeLEAF was designed to answer the call of our Private Wealth distribution partners, who are seeking a money market fund product that appeals to the growing segment of their clients that care deeply about sustainability and climate risk." The release tells us, "In addition to using at least 5% of its net revenue from management fees it earns through WeLEAF to purchase and retire carbon credits either directly or through a third-party organization, BlackRock also has a licensing agreement with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading environmental nonprofit dedicated to environmental and wildlife protection. As part of the agreement, BlackRock contributes annually to WWF to help further its global conservation efforts." (For more on ESG and Social Money Market Funds, see our March 2 News articles: Federated's Cunningham on Coronavirus; ICD Hosts Another ESG Webinar.)

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