N-1A 1 d151330dn1a.htm FORM N-1A Form N-1A
Table of Contents

As filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 7, 2016

File Nos. [        -            ] and [        -            ]

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

   REGISTRATION STATEMENT   
   UNDER   
   THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933   

x

   Pre-Effective Amendment No.   

¨

   Post-Effective Amendment No.   

¨

   and/or   
   REGISTRATION STATEMENT   
   UNDER   
   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940   

x

   Amendment No.    ¨

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

 

BlackRock Collateral Trust

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, DE 19809

(Address of Principal Executive Office)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 441-7762

John M. Perlowski

BlackRock Collateral Trust

55 East 52nd Street

New York, NY 10055

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

With Copies to:

 

John A. MacKinnon, Esq.   Benjamin Archibald, Esq.
Sidley Austin LLP   BlackRock Fund Advisors
787 Seventh Avenue   55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6018   New York, NY 10055

 

 

Approximate date of proposed public offering: as soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

The Registrant elects to register an indefinite number of shares of beneficial interest with no par value pursuant to Rule 24f-2 under the Investment Company Act.

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement under the Securities Act of 1933 on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that the Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with the provisions of Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


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______, 2016
2016 Prospectus
►    
BlackRock Government Collateral Pledge Unit  |  _____  |  ____
The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The securities described herein may not be sold until the registration statement becomes effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 


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BLACKROCK GOVERNMENT COLLATERAL PLEDGE UNIT
Ticker: _____ Stock Exchange: ____
Investment Objective
The BlackRock Government Collateral Pledge Unit (the “Fund”) seeks to provide as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and minimum volatility of principal.
Fees and Expenses
The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between BlackRock Collateral Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses. The Fund may also pay “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses.” Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses reflect the Fund's pro rata share of the fees and expenses incurred by investing in other investment companies. As the Fund has not commenced operations prior to the date of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”), Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are based on an estimate of the Fund’s allocation to other investment companies for the current fiscal year. The impact of Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses will be included in the total returns of the Fund. Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are not used to calculate the Fund's net asset value per share (“NAV”).
You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions and other charges when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the Example that follows:
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investments)
Management
Fees
  Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees
  Other
Expenses
  Acquired Fund Fees
and Expenses
  Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses
___%   None   ___   ___%   ___%
Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
  1 Year   3 Years    
  $___   $___    
Portfolio Turnover. The Fund and the underlying funds in which the Fund invests (each, an “Underlying Fund” and collectively, the “Underlying Funds”) may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when they buy and sell securities (or “turn over” their portfolios). A higher portfolio turnover rate for the Fund or Underlying Funds may indicate higher transaction costs and cause the Fund or Underlying Funds to incur increased expenses. These expenses, which are not reflected in the Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example (except costs to Underlying Funds included as part of Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses), affect the Fund's performance. To the extent the Underlying Funds incur costs from high portfolio turnover, such costs may have a negative effect on the performance of the Fund.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in a portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated government securities and other money market securities eligible for investment by U.S. government money market funds (including indirect investments through the Underlying Funds).
As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund intends to invest a
substantial portion of its assets in the following government money market funds, which principally invest in short-term U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations: FedFund and T-Fund (each, a series of BlackRock Liquidity Funds); and BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund and BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund (each, a series of Funds For Institutions Series). BFA may add, eliminate or replace any or all Underlying Funds at any time. BFA or its affiliates may advise the Underlying Funds. The Fund generally allocates and reallocates its assets among the Underlying Funds on a monthly basis on an approximate pro rata basis based on the amount of net assets of each Underlying Fund.
The Underlying Funds invest in securities maturing in 397 days (13 months) or less (with certain exceptions) and their portfolios will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less.
The Fund and the Underlying Funds may invest in variable and floating rate instruments and may transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. The purchase or sale of securities on a when-issued or delayed
 
 
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delivery basis or through a forward commitment involves the purchase or sale of securities at an established price with payment and delivery taking place in the future.
The securities purchased by the Fund will comply with the quality and eligibility requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The securities purchased by the Underlying Funds will comply with all requirements of Rule 2a-7 and other rules of the SEC applicable to money market funds that seek to maintain a stable NAV. The Fund itself will invest only in money market securities eligible for investment for funds that comply with Rule 2a-7, but will not be subject to other requirements of Rule 2a-7 applicable to money market funds that seek to maintain a stable NAV.
The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. The Fund may have a higher degree of portfolio turnover than funds that seek to replicate the performance of an index.
Each Underlying Fund is a “government money market fund,” as defined in Rule 2a-7 and seeks to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00. The Fund, however, is not a money market fund and does not seek to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00. Please see the More Information About the Fund section of this Prospectus and the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) for further information.
Summary of Principal Risks
As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund's performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to certain risks, including the principal risks noted below (either directly or through its investments in the Underlying Funds), any of which may adversely affect the Fund's NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.
Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general financial markets, a particular financial market or other asset classes.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk.  Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section of the Prospectus) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund.  The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants.  To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units (as defined below), Fund shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting.
Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, and the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds in securities with greater risks or other less favorable features or in securities with lower yields, which would result in a decline in the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's income.
Credit Risk. Debt issuers and other counterparties may be unable or unwilling to make timely interest and/or principal payments when due or otherwise honor their obligations. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s or an
Underlying Fund's investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on the issuer’s financial condition and on the terms of the securities.
Cyber Security Risk. Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund and Underlying Funds, the Fund's and Underlying Funds' advisers, and the Fund's and Underlying Funds' other service providers, market makers, Authorized Participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund and Underlying Funds invest have the ability to cause disruptions and negatively impact the Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems seeking to address system breaches or failures, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of the Fund’s service providers, market makers, Authorized Participants or issuers of securities in which the Fund and Underlying Funds invest.
Expense Risk. Fund and Underlying Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s or the Underlying Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s or the Underlying Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund or Underlying Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.
Fair Valuation Risk. The NAV of the Fund is normally determined as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on each day that the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for trading, and shares of the Underlying Funds normally are valued at fair value based on their NAV from the prior business day. In determining fair value, the Fund may rely on price quotations or other data furnished by pricing services or third parties, which may be inaccurate or unreliable.  Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used.
Floating Rate Notes Risk. Securities with floating or variable interest rates can be less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with fixed interest rates, but may decline in value if their coupon rates do not reset as high, or as quickly, as comparable market interest rates, and generally carry lower yields than fixed notes of the same maturity. Although floating rate notes are less sensitive to interest rate risk than fixed-rate securities, they are subject to credit risk and default risk, which could impair their value.
Income Risk. The Fund's income may decline when yields fall. This decline can occur because the Fund or an Underlying Fund may subsequently invest in lower-yielding bonds when bonds in its portfolio mature or are called or the Fund or the Underlying Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.
Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund to decline, may lead to heightened volatility in the fixed-income
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markets and may adversely affect the liquidity of certain fixed-income investments. The current historically low interest rate environment increases the risk associated with rising interest rates.
Investment in Underlying Funds Risk. The Fund expects to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the Underlying Funds, so the Fund’s investment performance is likely to be directly related to the performance of the Underlying Funds. The Fund’s NAV will change with changes in the value of securities in which the Fund invests based on their market valuations. An investment in the Fund may entail more costs and expenses than a direct investment in the Underlying Funds.
As the Underlying Funds, or the Fund’s allocations among the Underlying Funds, change from time to time, or to the extent that the expense ratio of any Underlying Fund changes, the weighted average operating expenses borne by the Fund may increase or decrease.
Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund or an Underlying Fund has exposure. Changes in the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.
Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund's returns because the Fund or an Underlying Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.
Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk, which is the risk that the investment process, techniques and risk analyses applied by BFA will not produce the desired results, and that securities selected by BFA may underperform the market or any relevant benchmark. In addition, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to BFA in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective.
Market Risk. The Fund  and Underlying Funds could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns.
Market Trading Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds face numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for their shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruptions in the creation/redemption process. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND'S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.
Money Market Funds Risk. An investment in the Fund and the Fund’s investment in the Underlying Funds are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any other government agency. Although each Underlying Fund seeks to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in the Underlying Funds.
Not a Money Market Fund. The Fund is not a money market fund and is not subject to the strict rules that govern the quality, maturity, liquidity and other features of securities that money market funds may purchase. Under normal circumstances, the Fund’s investments may be more susceptible than a money market fund is to credit risk, interest rate risk, valuation risk and
other risks relevant to the Fund’s investments. The Fund does not seek to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share.
Operational Risk. The Fund and Underlying Funds are exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s and Underlying Funds' service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund, the Underlying Funds and BFA seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate for those risks that they are intended to address.
Regulatory Risk. On July 23, 2014, the SEC adopted amendments to money market fund regulations, which structurally change the way that certain money market funds, such as the Underlying Funds, will be required to operate. The compliance periods for the amendments range between July 2015 and October 2016. When implemented, the changes may affect the Underlying Funds’ investment strategies, fees and expenses, portfolio and share liquidity and return potential.
Reinvestment Risk. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may invest a portion of its assets in short-term fixed-income instruments and, as a result, may be adversely affected if interest rates fall because they may have to invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds mature.
Repurchase Agreement Risk. A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser (i.e., the Fund or an Underlying Fund) acquires a security and the seller agrees, at the time of the sale, to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. If a repurchase agreement is construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities will not be considered to be owned by the Fund or Underlying Fund but only to constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price. If the seller defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund or Underlying Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security and the market value of the security declines, the Fund or Underlying Fund may lose money.
Risk of Investing in the United States. The Fund and Underlying Funds have significant exposure to U.S. issuers. Certain changes in the U.S. economy, such as when the U.S. economy weakens or when its financial markets decline, may have an adverse effect on the securities to which the Fund or the Underlying Funds have exposure.
Tax Risk. Because the Fund is expected to invest in the Underlying Funds, the Fund’s realized losses on sales of shares of an Underlying Fund may be indefinitely or permanently deferred as “wash sales.” Distributions of short-term capital gains by the Underlying Funds will be recognized as ordinary income by the Fund and would not be offset by the Fund’s capital loss carryforwards, if any. Capital loss carryforwards of the Underlying Funds, if any, would not offset net capital gains of the Fund. Each of these effects is caused by the Fund’s investment in the Underlying Funds and may result in distributions to Fund shareholders being of higher magnitudes and less likely to qualify
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for lower capital gain tax rates than if the Fund were to invest directly in the securities and other instruments comprising its portfolio.
U.S. Government Issuers Risk. U.S. Treasury obligations may differ from other securities in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics and may provide relatively lower returns than those of other securities. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees of credit, but generally are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government or U.S. government agencies and authorities may cause the value of the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments to decline.
When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk. When-issued and delayed delivery securities
and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund or an Underlying Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.
Performance Information
As of the date of the Prospectus, the Fund has been in operation for less than one full calendar year and therefore does not report its performance information.
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Management
Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.
Portfolio Managers. Richard Mejzak and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mejzak and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since inception.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund is an ETF. Individual shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange. Most investors will buy and sell shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of ____ shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund's distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a specified amount of cash.
Tax Information
The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing
through a tax-deferred arrangement such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (“IRA”), in which case, your distributions generally will be taxed when withdrawn.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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More Information About the Fund
Additional Information on the Investment Strategies. The Fund is an actively managed ETF and, thus, does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. Accordingly, the management team has discretion on a daily basis to manage the Fund's portfolio in accordance with the Fund's investment objective.
The Fund’s investment objective is to seek to provide as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and minimum volatility of principal. This policy is a non-fundamental policy and may be changed without shareholder approval. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in a portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated government securities and other money market securities eligible for investment by U.S. government money market funds (including indirect investments through the Underlying Funds). As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the Underlying Funds. 
In addition, the Fund may borrow as described in greater detail in the Fund's SAI.
The Underlying Funds
The Fund expects to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the Underlying Funds, so the Fund’s investment performance is directly related to the performance of the Underlying Funds. The Fund’s NAV will change with changes in the value of the securities in which the Fund invests. An investment in the Fund may entail more direct and indirect costs and expenses than a direct investment in the Underlying Funds.
BFA is not required to invest the Fund’s assets in any particular Underlying Fund or allocate any particular percentage of the Fund’s assets to any particular Underlying Fund. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the following Underlying Funds, although BFA may add, eliminate or replace any or all of the Underlying Funds at any time.
Underlying Fund Allocation Weights
(anticipated approximate weights at the commencement of operations)
Underlying Funds  
BlackRock Liquidity Funds: FedFund 35 %
BlackRock Liquidity Funds: T-Fund 50%
Funds For Institutions Series: BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund 10%
Funds For Institutions Series: BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund 5%
The Fund generally allocates and reallocates its assets among the Underlying Funds on a monthly basis on an approximate pro rata basis based on the amount of net assets of each Underlying Fund.
Additional information regarding the Underlying Funds and their principal investment strategies is provided below.
FedFund seeks current income as is consistent with liquidity and stability of principal. FedFund invests at least 99.5% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations or cash. The yield of FedFund is not directly tied to the federal funds rate. FedFund invests in securities maturing in 397 days or less (with certain exceptions) and the portfolio will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. FedFund may invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.
T-Fund seeks current income as is consistent with liquidity and stability of principal. T-Fund invests at least 99.5% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Treasury, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations or cash. T-Fund invests in securities maturing in 397 days or less (with certain exceptions) and the portfolio will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. T-Fund may invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.
BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund seeks current income as is consistent with liquidity and stability of principal. BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund invests at least 99.5% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations or cash. BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund invests in securities maturing in 397 days (13 months) or less (with certain exceptions) and the portfolio will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund may invest in variable or floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.
BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund seeks current income as is consistent with liquidity and stability of principal. BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund will invest 100% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Treasury, and repurchase agreements with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York secured by U.S. Treasury obligations. BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund invests in securities maturing in 397 days (13 months) or less (with certain exceptions) and the portfolio will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund may invest in variable or floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.
An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.
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A Further Discussion of Principal Risks
The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. The Fund may be exposed to these risks directly, or indirectly through the Fund's investments in the Underlying Funds. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.
Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may underperform other securities or indexes that track other countries, groups of countries, regions, industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities, currencies and indexes may experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general financial markets, depending upon a number of factors, including, among other things, inflation, interest rates, productivity, global demand for local products or resources, regulation and governmental controls. This may cause the Fund to underperform other investment vehicles that invest in different asset classes.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. Only an Authorized Participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. 
Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, which may result in the Fund or an Underlying Fund having to reinvest the proceeds in securities with greater risks or other less favorable features or in securities with lower yields, which would result in a decline in the Fund’s income.
Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments when due or otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, depending on the issuer’s financial condition and on the terms of the securities, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), or that the market’s perception of the issuer’s creditworthiness may worsen, potentially reducing such Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's income level or share price, which may adversely affect the value of the Fund.
Cyber Security Risk. With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet to conduct business, the Fund, each Underlying Fund, Authorized Participants, service providers and the relevant listing exchange are susceptible to operational, information security and related “cyber” risks both directly and through their service providers.  Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund and Underlying Funds invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's investment in such portfolio companies to lose value.  Unlike many other types of risks faced by the Fund and Underlying Funds, these risks typically are not covered by insurance. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber attacks include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber security failures by or breaches of the systems of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's adviser, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, index providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, Authorized Participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund and Underlying Funds invest, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses, interference with the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's ability to calculate its NAV, disclosure of confidential trading information, impediments to trading, submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders, the inability of the Fund, each Underlying Fund or their service providers to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. In addition, cyber attacks may render records of Fund assets and transactions, shareholder ownership of Fund shares, and other data integral to the functioning of the Fund or Underlying Fund inaccessible or inaccurate or incomplete. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund or Underlying Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents in the future. While the Fund and Underlying Funds has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, market makers or Authorized Participants. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
Expense Risk. Fund and Underlying Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s or the Underlying Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s or the Underlying Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund or Underlying Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.
Fair Valuation Risk. The NAV of the Fund is normally determined as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, and shares of the Underlying Funds normally are valued at fair value based on their NAV from the prior business day.  In determining fair value, the Fund may rely on price quotations or other data furnished by pricing services or third parties, which may be inaccurate or
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unreliable.  Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used.
Floating Rate Notes Risk. Securities with floating or variable interest rates can be less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with fixed interest rates, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline. A decline in interest rates may result in a reduction in income received from floating rate securities held by the Fund and may adversely affect the value of the Fund’s shares. Generally, floating rate securities carry lower yields than fixed notes of the same maturity. The interest rate for a floating rate note resets or adjusts periodically by reference to a benchmark interest rate. The impact of interest rate changes on floating rate investments is typically mitigated by the periodic interest rate reset of the investments. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Floating rate notes generally are subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, may trade infrequently, and their value may be impaired when the Fund needs to liquidate such loans. Benchmark interest rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), may not accurately track market interest rates.
Although floating rate notes are less sensitive to interest rate risk than fixed rate securities, they are subject to credit risk and default risk, which could impair their value.
The supply of floating rate notes issued by the U.S. Treasury will be limited. There is no guarantee or assurance that: (i) the Fund or Underlying Funds will be able to invest in a desired amount of floating rate notes, (ii) the Fund or Underlying Funds will be able to buy floating rate notes at a desirable price, (iii) floating rate notes will continue to be issued by the U.S. Treasury, or (iv) floating rate notes will be actively traded. Any or all of the foregoing, should they occur, would negatively impact the Fund.
Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall.  This decline can occur because the Fund or an Underlying Fund may subsequently invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature or are called, or the Fund or an Underlying Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. 
Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making their prices more volatile than those of securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term durations, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund or an Underlying Fund’s investments to decline significantly, which may adversely affect the value of the Fund. An increase in interest rates may lead to heightened volatility in the fixed-income markets and adversely affect the liquidity of certain fixed-income investments. In addition, decreases in fixed-income dealer market-making capacity may also potentially lead to heightened volatility and reduced liquidity in the fixed-income markets.
The current historically low interest rate environment was created in part by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (the “Fed”) and certain foreign central banks keeping the federal funds and equivalent foreign rates at or near zero. Economic recovery and the ending of the Fed’s quantitative easing program increase the likelihood of interest rates rising in the future.
Investment in Underlying Funds Risk. The Fund expects to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the Underlying Funds, so the Fund’s investment performance is likely to be directly related to the performance of the Underlying Funds. The Fund may also invest in other money market funds. The Fund’s NAV will change with changes in the value of securities in which the Fund invests based on their market valuations. An investment in the Fund may entail more direct and indirect costs and expenses than a direct investment in the Underlying Funds. For example, the Fund indirectly pays a portion of the expenses (including operating expenses and management fees) incurred by the Underlying Funds.
One Underlying Fund may buy the same securities that another Underlying Fund sells. Also, an investor in the Fund may receive taxable gains from portfolio transactions by the Underlying Funds, as well as taxable gains from transactions in shares of the Underlying Funds held by the Fund. Certain of the Underlying Funds may also hold common portfolio securities.
As the Underlying Funds, or the Fund's allocations among the Underlying Funds, change from time to time, or to the extent that the expense ratio of the Underlying Funds changes, the weighted average operating expenses borne by the Fund may increase or decrease.
Issuer Risk. The performance of the Fund depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund or an Underlying Fund has exposure. Any issuer of these securities may perform poorly, causing the value of its securities to decline. Poor performance may be caused by poor management decisions, competitive pressures, changes in technology, expiration of patent protection, disruptions in supply, labor problems or shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, credit deterioration of the issuer or other factors. Issuers may, in times of distress or at their own discretion, decide to reduce or eliminate dividends, which may also cause their stock prices to decline.
Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become less liquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund or an Underlying Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund or an Underlying Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund or an Underlying Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund.
Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. BFA and the portfolio managers will utilize a proprietary investment process, techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these decisions will produce the desired results. In addition, legislative, regulatory, or tax
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developments may affect the investment techniques available to BFA in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective.
Market Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Market risk arises mainly from uncertainty about future values of financial instruments influenced by price, currency and interest rate movements. It represents the potential loss the Fund and the Underlying Funds may suffer through holding financial instruments in the face of market movements or uncertainty. Market risks may be influenced by price, currency and interest rate movements. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting financial markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or other asset or due to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. If values for fixed-income securities generally were to decline significantly, which may occur due to rising interest rates, among other factors, the Fund’s and each Underlying Fund's market price would also decline. During a general market downturn, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected.
Market Trading Risk
Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained by market makers or Authorized Participants.
Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.
Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.
Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or for other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market.
Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility and price decreases associated with short selling.
Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below the Fund’s most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The trading price of the Fund’s shares fluctuates continuously throughout trading hours based on both market supply of and demand for shares and the underlying value of the Fund's portfolio holdings or NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility, including during periods of significant redemption requests or other unusual market conditions. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV, BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long term (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs). While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it more likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances and other factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions, including disruptions at market makers, Authorized Participants, or market participants, and during periods of significant market volatility, may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from their respective NAV. Authorized Participants may be less willing to redeem Fund shares if there is a lack of an active market for such shares or its underlying investments, which may contribute to the Fund’s shares trading at a discount to NAV.
Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission and other charges. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread”; that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally narrower if the Fund has more trading volume and market liquidity and wider if the Fund has less trading volume and market liquidity. In addition, increased market volatility may cause increased spreads. Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly trading in Fund shares.
Money Market Funds Risk. An investment in the Fund and the Fund’s investment in the Underlying Funds are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. Although each Underlying Fund seeks to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in the Underlying Funds.
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Not a Money Market Fund. The Fund is not a money market fund and is not subject to the strict rules that govern the quality, maturity, liquidity and other features of securities that money market funds may purchase. Under normal circumstances, the Fund’s investments may be more susceptible than a money market fund is to credit risk, interest rate risk, valuation risk and other risks relevant to the Fund’s investments. The Fund does not seek to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share.
Operational Risk. The Fund and Underlying Funds are exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s and Underlying Funds' service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund, the Underlying Funds and BFA seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate for those risks that they are intended to address.
Regulatory Risk. On July 23, 2014, the SEC adopted amendments to money market fund regulations, which structurally change the way that certain money market funds, such as the Underlying Funds, will be required to operate. The effect of these amendments on certain of the Underlying Funds will depend on the type of investors (e.g., retail or institutional) and the principal investments of the Underlying Fund. For example, “institutional” money market funds will be required to sell and redeem fund shares using a floating net asset value and may, at the discretion of the fund’s board of trustees, impose fees on shareholder redemptions and temporarily suspend redemptions if the fund’s weekly liquid assets fall below a certain threshold. “Retail” money market funds may impose fees and suspend redemptions, but may continue to sell and redeem shares at a constant net asset value, whereas “Government” money market funds are exempt from certain structural changes. The compliance periods for the amendments range between July 2015 and October 2016. When implemented, the changes may affect an Underlying Fund’s investment strategies, fees and expenses, portfolio and share liquidity, and return potential.
Reinvestment Risk. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may invest a portion of its assets in short-term fixed-income instruments and as a result, may be adversely affected when interest rates fall because they may have to invest in lower yielding bonds as bonds mature. This may cause the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's income to decline, which may adversely affect the value of the Fund. This risk is typically greater with respect to short-term bond funds (such as the Fund) and lower for long-term bond funds.
Repurchase Agreement Risk. A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser (i.e., the Fund or an Underlying Fund) acquires a security and the seller agrees, at the time of the sale, to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. If a repurchase agreement is construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities will not be considered to be owned by the Fund or Underlying Fund but only to constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price. If the seller defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund or Underlying Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security and the market value of the security declines, the Fund or Underlying Fund may lose money.
Risk of Investing in the United States. The Fund and Underlying Funds have significant exposure to U.S. issuers. Issuers located in the United States constitute a majority of the Fund’s holdings. A decrease in imports or exports, changes in trade regulations and/or an economic recession in the United States may have a material adverse effect on the U.S. economy and the securities listed on U.S. exchanges. Policy and legislative changes in the United States are changing many aspects of financial and other regulation and may have a significant effect on the U.S. markets generally, as well as the value of certain securities. In addition, a continued rise in the U.S. public debt level or U.S. austerity measures may adversely affect U.S. economic growth and the securities to which the Fund has exposure.
Tax Risk. Because the Fund is expected to invest in the Underlying Funds, the Fund’s realized losses on sales of shares of an Underlying Fund may be indefinitely or permanently deferred as “wash sales.” Distributions of short-term capital gains by the Underlying Funds will be recognized as ordinary income by the Fund and would not be offset by the Fund’s capital loss carryforwards, if any. Capital loss carryforwards of the Underlying Funds, if any, would not offset net capital gains of the Fund. Each of these effects is caused by the Fund’s investment in the Underlying Funds and may result in distributions to Fund shareholders being of higher magnitudes and less likely to qualify for lower capital gain tax rates than if the Fund were to invest otherwise.
U.S. Government Issuers Risk. U.S. Treasury obligations may differ from other securities in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics and may provide relatively lower returns than those of other securities. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees of credit but generally are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government or U.S. government agencies and authorities may cause the value of the Fund's investments to decline. On August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded U.S. Treasury securities from AAA rating to AA+ rating. A further downgrade of the ratings of U.S. government debt obligations, which are often used as a benchmark for other borrowing arrangements, could result in higher interest rates for individual and corporate borrowers, cause disruptions in the international bond markets and have a substantial negative effect on the U.S. economy. A downgrade of U.S. Treasury securities from another ratings agency or a further downgrade below AA+ rating by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services may cause the value of the Fund’s or Underlying Funds' U.S. Treasury obligations to decline.
When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk. When-issued and delayed delivery securities and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund or an Underlying Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.
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Portfolio Holdings Information
A description of the Trust's policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund's SAI. The Fund discloses its portfolio holdings, as well as the Underlying Funds’ portfolio holdings, daily at www.blackrock.com/cash. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund's top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-441-7450.
Management
Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund's investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.
Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.
For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA will be paid a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund's average daily net assets, at an annual rate of ____%. BFA may from time to time voluntarily waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses (excluding Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any). Any such voluntary waiver or reimbursement may be eliminated by BFA at any time.
BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of __________, 2016, BFA and its Affiliates (as defined below) provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $____ trillion. BFA and its Affiliates trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Trust's Board of Trustees' (the “Board”) approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA will be available in the Fund's _______ report for the period ending _________.
From time to time, a manager, analyst, or other employee of BlackRock or its affiliates may express views regarding a particular asset class, company, security, industry, or market sector. The views expressed by any such person are the views of only that individual as of the time expressed and do not necessarily represent the views of BlackRock or any other person within the BlackRock organization. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and BlackRock disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied on as investment advice and, because investment decisions for the Fund are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of the Fund.
Portfolio Managers. Richard Mejzak and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.
Richard Mejzak has been with BlackRock since 1990, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2006. Mr. Mejzak became a portfolio manager for BFA in 2012. Mr. Mejzak has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since inception.
Scott Radell has been employed by BFA as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at Barclays Global Fund Advisers in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since inception.
The Fund's SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers' compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers' ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.
Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.
Legal Proceedings. On May 27, 2014, certain purported investors in the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc. (“Global Allocation”) and the BlackRock Equity Dividend Fund (“Equity Dividend”) filed a consolidated complaint (the “Consolidated Complaint”) in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Investment Management, LLC and BlackRock International Limited (collectively, the “Defendants”) under the caption In re BlackRock Mutual Funds Advisory Fee Litigation. The Consolidated Complaint, which purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend, alleges that the Defendants violated Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act by receiving allegedly excessive investment advisory fees from Global Allocation and Equity Dividend. The Consolidated Complaint seeks, among other things, to recover on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend all allegedly excessive advisory fees from one year prior to the filing of the lawsuit and purported lost investment returns on those amounts, plus interest. The Defendants believe the claims in the Consolidated Complaint are without merit and intend to vigorously defend the action.
Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that it has relationships with certain entities that may give rise to conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).
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The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and the Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and the Affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, financier, underwriter, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests in securities, currencies, commodities, derivatives and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.
BFA may be subject to potential conflicts of interest in selecting Underlying Funds and substituting other mutual funds or ETFs since BFA or its Affiliates may also advise the Underlying Funds. For example, BFA may have an incentive to allocate Fund assets to those Underlying Funds for which BFA or its Affiliates serve as investment adviser in order to receive additional fees. In addition, the Board and officers of the Fund may also serve in similar positions for the Underlying Funds. If the interest of the Fund and an Underlying Fund were to diverge, it is possible that a conflict of interest could arise and affect how the Board and officers of the Fund fulfill their fiduciary duties to the Fund and the Underlying Fund. A situation could occur in which the proper action for the Fund could be adverse to the interests of an Underlying Fund, or the reverse could occur.
BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies, which may include investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions in certain securities that are adverse to those of the Fund.
No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund's investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.
The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA’s or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.
The Fund's activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an Affiliate has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with, and purchase, distribute or sell services or products from or to, distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund's portfolio investment transactions.
The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund's SAI for further information.
Shareholder Information
Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-441-7450 or visiting our website at www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash.
Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section below) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.
Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange or otherwise in the secondary market. The Fund's shares trade under the trading symbol “____.”
Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange or other secondary market involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you may incur a brokerage commission and other charges. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has high trading
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volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity (which is often the case for funds that are newly launched or small in size). The Fund's spread may also be impacted by the liquidity of the underlying securities held by the Fund, particularly for newly launched or smaller funds or in instances of significant volatility of the underlying securities.
The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.
The national securities exchange on which the Fund's shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is ____.
Although the SEC has granted an exemptive order permitting registered investment companies and unit investment trusts that enter into a participation agreement with the Trust (“Investing Funds”) to invest in certain ETFs that are outside the same group of investment companies as the Investing Funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act subject to certain terms and conditions, the Fund does not rely on the exemptive order. Accordingly, Investing Funds must adhere to the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act when investing in the Fund.
Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.
Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.
Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as the supply of and demand for ETF shares and shares of underlying securities held by the Fund, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout each trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund's shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund's NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers and other market intermediaries that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.
Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time, on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets, which includes the values of the Underlying Fund shares in which the Fund invests, less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.
The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board.
Shares of the Underlying Funds normally will be valued at fair value based on their net asset value from the prior business day. Fixed-income securities normally will be valued based on current market quotations as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time. The Fund values fixed-income portfolio securities using last available bid prices or current market quotations provided by dealers or prices (including evaluated prices) supplied by the Fund's approved independent third-party pricing services, each in accordance with valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values. Pricing services generally value fixed-income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller odd lot sizes. Odd lots often trade at lower prices than institutional round lots. The amortized cost method of valuation may be used with respect to debt obligations with sixty days or less remaining to maturity unless BFA determines in good faith that such method does not represent fair value.
When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Board. BFA may conclude that a market
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quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity or other reason, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation, or if the trading market on which a security is listed is suspended or closed and no appropriate alternative trading market is available. A “significant event” is deemed to occur if BFA determines, in its reasonable business judgment prior to or at the time of pricing the Fund’s assets or liabilities, that it is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of one or more assets or liabilities held by the Fund.
Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used.
Dividends and Distributions
General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid at least once a year by the Fund. The Fund generally distributes its net capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.
Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. There is no guarantee that shares of the Fund will receive certain regulatory or accounting treatment. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.
Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares.
Taxes on Distributions. Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including distributions out of the Fund's net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund's distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses are taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the shares. Distributions from the Fund are subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly) and of estates and trusts. In general, your distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.
If the Fund's distributions exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made in the taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. Distributions in excess of the Fund’s minimum distribution requirements, but not in excess of the Fund’s earnings and profits, will be taxable to shareholders and will not constitute nontaxable returns of capital. A return of capital distribution generally will not be taxable but will reduce the shareholder's cost basis and will result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold. Once a shareholder's cost basis is reduced to zero, further distributions will be treated as capital gain, if the shareholder holds shares of the Fund as capital assets.
Dividends, interest and capital gains earned by an Underlying Fund with respect to non-U.S. positions may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by non-U.S. countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes. If more than 50% of the total assets of an Underlying Fund at the close of a year consists of non-U.S. stocks or securities (generally, for this purpose, depositary receipts, no matter where traded, of non-U.S. companies are treated as “non-U.S.”) (and 50% of the total assets of the Fund at the close of the year consists of foreign securities, or, at the close of each quarter, shares of Underlying Funds), the Fund may “pass through” to you certain non-U.S. income taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by the Fund or an Underlying Fund.
Short term capital gains earned by an Underlying Fund will be ordinary income when distributed to the Fund and will not be offset by the Fund's capital losses.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a non-U.S. entity, the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies.
A 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items and will be imposed on proceeds from the sale, redemption or other disposition of property producing U.S.-source dividends and interest paid after December 31, 2018, to (i)
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foreign financial institutions, including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities, unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to (i) enter into agreements with the IRS that state that they will provide the IRS information, including the names, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers of direct and indirect U.S. account holders; comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts; report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information; and determine certain other information concerning their account holders, or (ii) in the event that an applicable intergovernmental agreement and implementing legislation are adopted, provide local revenue authorities with similar account holder information. Other foreign entities may need to report the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or provide certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership, unless certain exceptions apply.
As the Fund invests in only a limited number of positions, the Fund may be required to defer for tax purposes significant amounts of realized losses on the sale of shares in Underlying Funds indefinitely.
If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding at a 28% rate will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.
Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, are included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.
Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of ____ shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or authorized participant has entered into an agreement with the Fund's distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA (an “Authorized Participant”).
These transactions are usually in exchange for cash.
Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.
The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.
Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.
In the event of a system failure or other interruption, including disruptions at market makers or Authorized Participants, orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units either may not be executed according to the Fund's instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.
To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the 1933 Act. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant that has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund's SAI.
Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.
Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.
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Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, price movement and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire or dispose of Fund shares may pay fees for such services.
The following table shows, as of __________, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):
Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit
  Creation
Unit Size
  Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee
  Maximum Additional
Charge for
Creations*
  Maximum Additional
Charge for
Redemptions*
$________   ____   $___   ___%   ___%

* As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.
Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.
Distribution
The Distributor or its agent distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.
BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other affiliated ETFs available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the affiliated ETF complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other affiliated ETFs over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund's and each Underlying Fund's SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.
Financial Highlights
Financial highlights for the Fund are not available because, as of the effective date of this Prospectus, the Fund has not commenced operations and therefore has no financial highlights to report.
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Disclaimers
Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by ____. ____ makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective. ____ is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the Fund's investments, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. ____ has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.
Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall ____ have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
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For more information visit www.blackrock.com/cash or call 1-800-441-7450
Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and other information can be found on our website at www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.
If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI free of charge, please:
Call: 1-800-441-7450 (toll free)
Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC
1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC's Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC's Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.
No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep this Prospectus for future reference.
©2016 BlackRock, Inc.
Investment Company Act File No.: [________]
IS-P-_____-____


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The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The securities described herein may not be sold until the registration statement becomes effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
BlackRock Collateral Trust
Statement of Additional Information
Dated ______, 2016
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the current prospectus (the “Prospectus”) for the following series of BlackRock Collateral Trust (the “Trust”):
Fund   Ticker   Listing Exchange
BlackRock Government Collateral Pledge Unit (the “Fund”)   ____   ____
The Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in government money market funds, which principally invest in short-term U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instumentalities, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations (each, an “Underlying Fund” and collectively, the “Underlying Funds”). BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA” or the “Investment Adviser”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc., serves as investment adviser to the Fund, and BFA's affiliate, BlackRock Advisors, LLC, serves as investment adviser to each of the Underlying Funds. References to the investments and risks of the Fund, unless otherwise indicated, should be understood as references to the investments and risks of the related Underlying Funds.
The Prospectus for the Fund is dated ________, 2016, as amended and supplemented from time to time. Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus for the Fund may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), 1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, calling 1-800-441-7450 or visiting www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash. The Fund's Prospectus is incorporated by reference into this SAI.
References to the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act” or the “1940 Act”), or other applicable law, will include any rules promulgated thereunder and any guidance, interpretations or modifications by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, including court interpretations, and exemptive, no action or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page
General Description of the Trust and the Fund 1
Exchange Listing and Trading 1
Investment Strategies and Risks 2
Bonds 3
Borrowing 3
Diversification Status 3
Illiquid Securities 4
Ratings 4
Regulation Regarding Derivatives 4
Repurchase Agreements 4
Reverse Repurchase Agreements 5
Securities of Investment Companies 5
Stripped Securities 5
U.S. Government Obligations 5
Variable and Floating Rate Instruments 6
When-Issued and Delayed Settlement Transactions 6
Future Developments 6
General Considerations and Risks 7
Borrowing Risk 7
Call Risk 7
Operational Risk 7
U.S. Treasury Obligations Risk 7
Risk of Investing in the United States 8
Proxy Voting Policy 8
Portfolio Holdings Information 8
Investment Restrictions 9
Continuous Offering 11
Management 12
Information on Trustees and Officers 12
Biographical Information 17
Share Ownership 25
Compensation of Trustees 26
Control Persons and Principal Holders of Securities 27
Potential Conflicts of Interest 27
Investment Advisory, Administrative and Distribution Services 33
Investment Adviser 33
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  Page
Portfolio Managers 34
Codes of Ethics 36
Anti-Money Laundering Requirements 36
Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent 36
Distributor 37
Payments by BFA and its Affiliates 37
Determination of Net Asset Value 38
Brokerage Transactions 40
Additional Information Concerning the Trust 43
Shares 43
Termination of the Trust or the Fund 43
DTC as Securities Depository for Shares of the Fund 43
Creation and Redemption of Creation Units 44
General 44
Fund Deposit 44
Cash Purchase Method 45
Procedures for Creation of Creation Units 45
Role of the Authorized Participant 45
Placement of Creation Orders 46
Purchase Orders 46
Timing of Submission of Purchase Orders 47
Acceptance of Orders for Creation Units 47
Issuance of a Creation Unit 47
Costs Associated with Creation Transactions 48
Redemption of Creation Units 48
Cash Redemption Method 49
Costs Associated with Redemption Transactions 49
Placement of Redemption Orders 49
Taxation on Creations and Redemptions of Creation Units 50
Taxes 52
Regulated Investment Company Qualifications 52
Taxation of Regulated Investment Companies 52
Excise Tax 53
Net Capital Loss Carryforwards 53
Taxation of U.S. Shareholders 53
Sales of Shares 54
Back-Up Withholding 55
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General Description of the Trust and the Fund
The Trust currently consists of one investment series or portfolio. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on April 4, 2016 and is authorized to have multiple series or portfolios. The Trust is an open-end management investment company registered with the SEC under the 1940 Act. The offering of the Trust's shares is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). This SAI relates solely to the Fund.
The Fund is managed by BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.
The Fund offers and issues shares at their net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (each, a “Creation Unit”), generally in exchange for a specified amount of cash. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on _____________ (the “Listing Exchange”), a national securities exchange. Shares of the Fund are traded in the secondary market and elsewhere at market prices that may be at, above or below the Fund's NAV. Shares are redeemable only in Creation Units, and, generally, in exchange for a specified amount of cash. Creation Units typically are a specified number of shares, generally _______ or multiples thereof.
The Trust reserves the right to permit or require that creations and redemptions of shares are effected fully in cash. See the Creation and Redemption of Creation Units section of this SAI. Transaction fees and other costs associated with creations or redemptions that include a cash portion may be higher than the transaction fees and other costs associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. In all cases, conditions with respect to creations and redemptions of shares and fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of SEC rules and regulations applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities.
Exchange Listing and Trading
A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Shareholder Information section of the Fund's Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, that section of the Prospectus.
Shares of the Fund are listed for trading, and trade throughout the day, on the Listing Exchange and in other secondary markets. Shares of the Fund may also be listed on certain non-U.S. exchanges. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Listing Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Listing Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the shares of the Fund from listing if, among other things: (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of Fund shares, there are fewer than 50 record and/or beneficial owners of shares of the Fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days, or (ii) any other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Listing Exchange, makes further dealings on the Listing Exchange inadvisable. The Listing Exchange will also remove shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.
As in the case of other publicly-traded securities, when you buy or sell shares of the Fund through a broker, you may incur a brokerage commission determined by that broker, as well as other charges.
In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of shares of the Fund, the Listing Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or through other widely disseminated means, an updated indicative optimized portfolio value (“IOPV”) for the Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IOPV.
An IOPV has a fixed income securities component and a deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”). The fixed income securities values included in an IOPV are the values of a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (the “Deposit Securities”) for the Fund. While the IOPV reflects the current value of the Deposit Securities required to be deposited in connection with the purchase of a Creation Unit, it does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time because the current portfolio of the Fund may include securities that are not a part of the current Deposit Securities.
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Therefore, the Fund’s IOPV disseminated during the Listing Exchange trading hours should not be viewed as a real-time update of the Fund’s NAV, which is calculated only once a day.
The cash component included in an IOPV consists of estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, each IOPV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the applicable currency.
The Trust reserves the right to adjust the share prices of the Fund in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund or an investor's equity interest in the Fund.
Investment Strategies and Risks
The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in a portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated government securities and other money market securities eligible for investment by U.S. government money market funds (including indirect investments through the Underlying Funds).
As of the date of this SAI, the Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the following government money market funds, which principally invest in short-term U.S. Treasury bills, notes and other obligations issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, and repurchase agreements secured by such obligations: FedFund and T-Fund (each, a series of BlackRock Liquidity Funds); and BlackRock Premier Government Institutional Fund and BlackRock Select Treasury Strategies Institutional Fund (each, a series of Funds For Institutions Series). BFA may add, eliminate or replace any or all Underlying Funds at any time. BFA or its affiliates may advise the Underlying Funds.
The Underlying Funds invest in securities maturing in 397 days (13 months) or less (with certain exceptions) and their portfolios will have a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less.
The Fund and the Underlying Funds may invest in variable and floating rate instruments and may transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. The purchase or sale of securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment involves the purchase or sale of securities at an established price with payment and delivery taking place in the future.
The Fund and the Underlying Funds may also invest in Treasury receipts where the principal and interest components are traded separately under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (STRIPS) program.
The securities purchased by the Fund will comply with the quality and eligibility requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The securities purchased by the Underlying Funds will comply with all requirements of Rule 2a-7 and other rules of the SEC applicable to money market funds that seek to maintain a stable NAV. The Fund itself will invest only in money market securities eligible for investment for funds that comply with Rule 2a-7 and therefore will not be subject to other requirements of Rule 2a-7 applicable to money market funds that seek to maintain a stable NAV.
The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. The Fund may have a higher degree of portfolio turnover than funds that seek to replicate the performance of an index.
Each Underlying Fund is a “government money market fund,” as defined in Rule 2a-7 and seeks to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00. The Fund, however, is not a money market fund and does not seek to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00.
Additional information on the Fund's investment strategies, including the Fund's allocation method, can be found in the Fund's Prospectus.
Set forth below is more detailed information regarding types of instruments in which the Underlying Funds, and in some cases the Fund, may invest, strategies BFA may employ in pursuit of an Underlying Fund's investment objective, and related risks.
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Bonds.  The Fund may invest in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, and the Underlying Funds may invest in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds. A bond is an interest-bearing security issued by a U.S. or non-U.S. company, or U.S. or non-U.S. governmental unit. The issuer of a bond has a contractual obligation to pay interest at a stated rate on specific dates and to repay principal (the bond’s face value) periodically or on a specified maturity date. Bonds generally are used by corporations and governments to borrow money from investors.
An issuer may have the right to redeem or “call” a bond before maturity, in which case the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Similarly, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have to reinvest interest income or payments received when bonds mature, sometimes at lower market rates. Most bonds bear interest income at a “coupon” rate that is fixed for the life of the bond. The value of a fixed-rate bond usually rises when market interest rates fall, and falls when market interest rates rise. Accordingly, a fixed-rate bond’s yield (income as a percent of the bond’s current value) may differ from its coupon rate as its value rises or falls. When an investor purchases a fixed-rate bond at a price that is greater than its face value, the investor is purchasing the bond at a premium. Conversely, when an investor purchases a fixed-rate bond at a price that is less than its face value, the investor is purchasing the bond at a discount. Fixed-rate bonds that are purchased at a discount pay less current income than securities with comparable yields that are purchased at face value, with the result that prices for such fixed-rate securities can be more volatile than prices for such securities that are purchased at face value. Other types of bonds bear interest at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Interest rates on “floating rate” or “variable rate” bonds may be higher or lower than current market rates for fixed-rate bonds of comparable quality with similar final maturities. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the value of “floating rate” or “variable rate” bonds fluctuates much less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of fixed-rate bonds, but their value may decline if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may treat some of these bonds as having a shorter maturity for purposes of calculating the weighted average maturity of its investment portfolio. Generally, prices of higher quality issues tend to fluctuate less with changes in market interest rates than prices of lower quality issues and prices of longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices of shorter maturity issues. Bonds may be senior or subordinated obligations. Senior obligations generally have the first claim on a corporation’s earnings and assets and, in the event of liquidation, are paid before subordinated obligations. Bonds may be unsecured (backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness) or secured (backed by specified collateral).
Borrowing.  The Fund may borrow for temporary or emergency purposes, including to meet payments due from redemptions or to facilitate the settlement of securities or other transactions.
The purchase of securities while borrowings are outstanding may have the effect of leveraging the Fund. The incurrence of leverage increases the Fund’s exposure to risk, and borrowed funds are subject to interest costs that will reduce net income. Purchasing securities while borrowings are outstanding creates special risks, such as the potential for greater volatility in the net asset value of Fund shares and in the yield on the Fund’s portfolio. In addition, the interest expenses from borrowings may exceed the income generated by the Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, the amount available (if any) for distribution to shareholders as dividends may be reduced. BFA may determine to maintain outstanding borrowings if it expects that the benefits to the Fund’s shareholders will outweigh the current reduced return.
Certain types of borrowings by the Fund must be made from a bank or may result in the Fund being subject to covenants in credit agreements relating to asset coverage, portfolio composition requirements and other matters. It is not anticipated that observance of such covenants would impede BFA’s management of the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies. However, a breach of any such covenants not cured within the specified cure period may result in acceleration of outstanding indebtedness and require the Fund to dispose of portfolio investments at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so.
Diversification Status.  The Fund is classified as “diversified.” With respect to 75% of the Fund's total assets, a “diversified” fund is limited by the 1940 Act such that it does not invest more than 5% of its total assets in securities of any one issuer and does not acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer (excluding cash and cash items, government securities, and securities of other investment companies). The remaining 25% of the Fund's total assets may be invested in a single issuer or a number of issuers.
The Fund intends to maintain the required level of diversification and otherwise conduct its operations so as to qualify as a regulated investment company for purposes of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”), and to relieve the Fund of any liability for U.S. federal income tax to the extent that its earnings are distributed to shareholders, provided that the Fund satisfies a minimum distribution requirement. Compliance with the diversification
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requirements of the Internal Revenue Code may limit the investment flexibility of the Fund and may make it less likely that the Fund will meet its investment objective.
Illiquid Securities.  The Fund may invest up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment). Each Underlying Fund may invest up to an aggregate amount of 5% of its net assets in illiquid securities. Illiquid securities may include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets, as determined in accordance with SEC staff guidance. The liquidity of a security relates to the ability to readily dispose of the security and the price to be obtained upon disposition of the security, which may be lower than the price that would be obtained for a comparable, more liquid security. Illiquid securities may trade at a discount to comparable, more liquid securities and the Fund or an Underlying Fund may not be able to dispose of illiquid securities in a timely fashion or at their expected prices.
Ratings.  An investment-grade rating means the security or issuer is rated investment-grade by Moody’s, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Fitch, or another credit rating agency designated as a nationally-recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) by the SEC, or is unrated but considered to be of equivalent quality by BFA. Bonds rated Baa3 or above by Moody’s or BBB- or above by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Fitch are considered “investment-grade” securities, bonds rated Baa are considered medium grade obligations subject to moderate credit risk and may possess certain speculative characteristics, while bonds rated BBB are regarded as having adequate capacity to meet financial commitments.
Regulation Regarding Derivatives.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) subjects advisors to registered investment companies to regulation by the CFTC if a fund that is advised by the advisor either (i) invests, directly or indirectly, more than a prescribed level of its liquidation value in CFTC-regulated futures, options and swaps (“CFTC Derivatives”), or (ii) markets itself as providing investment exposure to such instruments. The CFTC also subjects advisors to registered investment companies to regulation by the CFTC if the registered investment company invests in one or more commodity pools. To the extent the Fund uses CFTC Derivatives, it intends to do so below such prescribed levels and intends not to market itself as a “commodity pool” or a vehicle for trading such instruments.
BFA has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the CEA pursuant to Rule 4.5 under the CEA with respect to the Fund. BFA is not, therefore, subject to registration or regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the CEA with respect to the Fund.
Repurchase Agreements.  A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser (i.e., the Fund or an Underlying Fund) acquires the security and the seller agrees, at the time of the sale, to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price, thereby determining the yield during the purchaser’s holding period. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. If a repurchase agreement is construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities will not be considered to be owned by the Fund or an Underlying Fund but only to constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price, and, in the event of a default by the seller, the Fund or Underlying Fund may suffer time delays and incur costs or losses in connection with the disposition of the collateral.
In any repurchase transaction, the collateral for a repurchase agreement may include: (i) cash items; (ii) obligations issued by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities; or (iii) obligations that, at the time the repurchase agreement is entered into, are determined to (A) have exceptionally strong capacity to meet their financial obligations and (B) are sufficiently liquid such that they can be sold at approximately their carrying value in the ordinary course of business within seven days.
Repurchase agreements pose certain risks for the Fund and Underlying Funds, should they decide to utilize them. Such risks are not unique to the Fund or Underlying Funds, but are inherent in repurchase agreements. The Fund and Underlying Funds seek to minimize such risks, but because of the inherent legal uncertainties involved in repurchase agreements, such risks cannot be eliminated. Lower quality collateral and collateral with a longer maturity may be subject to greater price fluctuations than higher quality collateral and collateral with a shorter maturity. If the repurchase agreement counterparty were to default, lower quality collateral may be more difficult to liquidate than higher quality collateral. Should the counterparty default and the amount of collateral not be sufficient to cover the counterparty’s repurchase obligation, the Fund or Underlying Fund would likely retain the status of an unsecured creditor of the counterparty (i.e., the position the Fund or an Underlying Fund would normally be in if it were to hold, pursuant to its investment policies, other unsecured debt securities of the defaulting counterparty) with respect to the amount of the shortfall. As an unsecured creditor, the Fund or Underlying Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and income involved in the transaction.
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Reverse Repurchase Agreements.  Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing. Generally, the effect of such transactions is that the Fund or Underlying Fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while in many cases the Fund or Underlying Fund is able to keep some of the interest income associated with those securities. Such transactions are advantageous only if the Fund or Underlying Fund has an opportunity to earn a rate of interest on the cash derived from these transactions that is greater than the interest cost of obtaining the same amount of cash. Opportunities to realize earnings from the use of the proceeds equal to or greater than the interest required to be paid may not always be available and the Fund or Underlying Fund intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when BFA believes it will be advantageous to the Fund or Underlying Fund. The use of reverse repurchase agreements may exaggerate any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s or Underlying Fund's assets. The Fund’s or Underlying Fund's exposure to reverse repurchase agreements will be covered by liquid assets having a value equal to or greater than the Fund’s or Underlying Fund's obligations under such commitments. The use of reverse repurchase agreements is a form of leverage, and the proceeds obtained by the Fund or Underlying Fund through reverse repurchase agreements may be invested in additional securities.
Securities of Investment Companies.  The Fund and each Underlying Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies (including money market funds) to the extent permitted by law, regulation, exemptive order or SEC staff guidance. Under the 1940 Act, a fund’s investment in investment companies is limited to, subject to certain exceptions (including exceptions with respect to investments in money market funds), (i) 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any one investment company, (ii) 5% of the fund’s total assets with respect to any one investment company, and (iii) 10% of the fund’s total assets with respect to investment companies in the aggregate. To the extent allowed by law or regulation, the Fund intends to invest its assets in securities of investment companies, including money market funds, including those advised by BFA or otherwise affiliated with BFA, in excess of the limits discussed above. Other investment companies in which the Fund invests can be expected to incur fees and expenses for operations, such as investment advisory and administration fees, which would be in addition to those incurred by the Fund. Pursuant to guidance issued by the SEC staff, fees and expenses of money market funds used for cash collateral received in connection with loans of securities are not treated as Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, which reflect the Fund’s pro rata share of the fees and expenses incurred by investing in other investment companies (as disclosed in the Prospectus, as applicable).
Stripped Securities.  The Fund and the Underlying Funds may invest in Treasury receipts where the principal and interest components are traded separately under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (STRIPS) program. Stripped securities are created when the issuer separates the interest and principal components of an instrument and sells them as separate securities. In general, one security is entitled to receive the interest payments on the underlying assets (the interest only or “IO” security) and the other to receive the principal payments (the principal only or “PO” security). Some stripped securities may receive a combination of interest and principal payments. The yields to maturity on IOs and POs are sensitive to the expected or anticipated rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying assets, and principal payments may have a material effect on yield to maturity. If the underlying assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund or Underlying Fund may not fully recoup its initial investment in IOs. Conversely, if the underlying assets experience less than anticipated prepayments of principal, the yield on POs could be adversely affected. Stripped securities may be highly sensitive to changes in interest rates and rates of prepayment.
U.S. Government Obligations.  The Fund or an Underlying Fund may invest in various types of U.S. government obligations. U.S. government obligations are a type of bond and include securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities. Payment of principal and interest on U.S. government obligations (i) may be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States or (ii) may be backed solely by the issuing or guaranteeing agency or instrumentality itself (as with Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) notes). In the latter case, the Fund or an Underlying Fund must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment, which agency or instrumentality may be privately owned. There can be no assurance that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies or instrumentalities where it is not obligated to do so. As a general matter, the value of debt instruments, including U.S. government obligations, declines when market interest rates increase and rises when market interest rates decrease. Certain types of U.S. government obligations are subject to fluctuations in yield or value due to their structure or contract terms.
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In 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under the conservatorship of the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under this conservatorship, the FHFA operates and manages the agencies, and the U.S. Department of Treasury has agreed to provide capital as needed (up to $100 billion per agency) to ensure that the agencies continue to provide liquidity to the housing and mortgage markets.
Variable and Floating Rate Instruments.  The Fund or an Underlying Fund may purchase variable and floating rate instruments. The Fund or an Underlying Fund invests in variable or floating rate notes only when BFA (or the Underlying Fund’s investment adviser) deems the investment to involve minimal credit risk. In some cases, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may require that the obligation to pay the principal of the instrument be backed by a letter of credit or guarantee. Such instruments may carry stated maturities in excess of 13 months provided that the maturity-shortening provisions stated in Rule 2a-7 of the Investment Company Act are satisfied. Although a particular variable or floating rate demand instrument may not be actively traded in a secondary market, in some cases, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may be entitled to principal on demand and may be able to resell such notes in the dealer market. Variable and floating rate instruments held by an Underlying Fund may have maturities of more than 13 months provided: (i) the Underlying Fund is entitled to the payment of principal and interest at any time, or during specified intervals not exceeding 13 months, upon giving the prescribed notice (which may not exceed 30 days), unless the instrument is guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies and/or instrumentalities, and (ii) the rate of interest on such instruments is adjusted at periodic intervals which may extend up to 13 months. In determining an Underlying Fund’s average weighted portfolio maturity and whether a long-term variable rate demand instrument has a remaining maturity of 13 months or less, the instrument will be deemed by an Underlying Fund to have a maturity equal to the longer of the period remaining until its next interest rate adjustment or the period remaining until the principal amount can be recovered through demand. In determining an Underlying Fund’s average weighted portfolio maturity and whether a long-term floating rate demand instrument has a remaining maturity of 13 months or less, the instrument will be deemed by an Underlying Fund to have a maturity equal to the period remaining until the principal amount can be recovered through demand. In addition, a variable or floating rate instrument issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies and/or instrumentalities will be deemed by an Underlying Fund to have a maturity equal to the period remaining until its next interest rate adjustment (in the case of a variable rate instrument) or one day (in the case of a floating rate instrument). Variable and floating rate notes are frequently rated by credit rating agencies, and their issuers must satisfy an Underlying Fund’s quality and maturity requirements. If an issuer of such a note were to default on its payment obligation, an Underlying Fund might be unable to dispose of the note because of the absence of an active secondary market and might, for this or other reasons, suffer a loss.
When-Issued and Delayed Settlement Transactions.  The Fund or an Underlying Fund may utilize when-issued and delayed settlement transactions. When-issued securities are securities purchased for delivery beyond the normal settlement date at a stated price and yield. Delayed settlement describes settlement of a securities transaction some time in the future. The Fund or Underlying Fund will generally not pay for such securities or start earning interest on them until they are received. Securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed settlement basis are recorded as an asset and are subject to changes in value based upon changes in the general level of interest rates. When the Fund or Underlying Fund agrees to purchase when-issued or delayed settlement securities, the Fund’s or Underlying Fund’s custodian will ensure that the Fund or Underlying Fund has designated securities at least equal to the amount of the commitment (i.e., notational segregation) that are deemed liquid and marked-to-market daily. The Fund’s or Underlying Fund’s liquidity and ability to manage its portfolio might be affected when it designates cash or portfolio securities to cover such purchase commitments. When the Fund or Underlying Fund engages in when-issued or delayed settlement transactions, it relies on the seller to consummate the trade. Failure of the seller to do so may result in the Fund or Underlying Fund incurring a loss or missing an opportunity to obtain a price considered to be advantageous. The Fund and Underlying Funds do not intend to purchase when-issued or delayed settlement securities for speculative purposes but only in furtherance of the Fund’s or Underlying Fund’s investment objective. The Fund and each Underlying Fund reserve the right to sell these securities before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable.
Future Developments.  The Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board” or the “Trustees”) may, or the board of each Underlying Fund may, in the future, authorize the Fund or an Underlying Fund to invest in securities contracts and investments, other than those listed in this SAI and in the Prospectus, provided they are consistent with the Fund's or Underlying Fund's investment objective and do not violate any of its investment restrictions or policies.
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General Considerations and Risks
A discussion of some of the principal risks associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Prospectus. Because the Fund expects to obtain its exposure substantially through its investment in the Underlying Funds, shareholders should be aware that the risks of investment in particular types of securities, economic sectors and geographic locations discussed below may be borne by the Fund through its investment in the Underlying Funds. Through its investment in the Underlying Funds, the Fund will also bear the risks described below associated with the Underlying Funds' use of portfolio management techniques, such as borrowing arrangements, in addition to the risks associated with those activities if the Funds engage in them directly.
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding that the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities, including its investment in the Underlying Funds, may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of the issuers of the portfolio securities, the value of stocks in general, and other factors that affect the market.
Borrowing Risk.  Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the net asset value of Fund shares and in the return on the Fund’s portfolio. Borrowing will cost the Fund interest expense and other fees. The costs of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing may cause the Fund to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations.
Call Risk.  During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, which may result in the Fund or an Underlying Fund having to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund's income.
Operational Risk.  BFA and the Fund’s and Underlying Funds' other service providers may experience disruptions or operating errors such as processing errors or human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, or systems or technology failures, that could negatively impact the Fund or Underlying Funds. While service providers are required to have appropriate operational risk management policies and procedures, their methods of operational risk management may differ from the Fund’s or Underlying Funds' in the setting of priorities, the personnel and resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. BFA, through its monitoring and oversight of service providers, seeks to ensure that service providers take appropriate precautions to avoid and mitigate risks that could lead to disruptions and operating errors. However, it is not possible for BFA or the other Fund or Underlying Funds service providers to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or Underlying Funds, or to develop processes and controls to completely eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects.
U.S. Treasury Obligations Risk.  The Fund and the Underlying Funds may invest in various types of U.S. Treasury securities. U.S. Treasury obligations may differ from other securities in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury obligations to decline. U.S. Treasury obligations typically offer lower interest rates than other obligations. Neither the U.S. government nor any of its agencies or instrumentalities guarantees the market value of the securities it issues.
The total public debt of the United States as a percent of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the recent financial downturn. Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high national debt level may increase market pressures to meet government funding needs, which may drive debt cost higher and cause a country to sell additional debt, thereby increasing refinancing risk. A high national debt also raises concerns that a government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due. In the worst case, unsustainable debt levels can cause a decline in the value of the dollar (which may lead to inflation), and can prevent the U.S. government from implementing effective counter-cyclical fiscal policy in economic downturns.
On August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded U.S. Treasury securities from an AAA rating to AA+. A further downgrade of the ratings of U.S. government debt obligations, which are often used as a benchmark for other borrowing arrangements, could result in higher interest rates for individual and corporate borrowers, cause disruptions in the international bond markets and generally have a substantial negative effect on the U.S. economy. A downgrade of U.S. Treasury securities from another ratings agency or a further downgrade beyond AA+ rating by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services may cause the value of the Fund's U.S. Treasury obligations to decline.
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Risk of Investing in the United States.  Decreasing imports or exports, changes in trade regulations and/or an economic recession in the United States may have a material adverse effect on the U.S. economy and the securities listed on U.S. exchanges. The financial crisis that began in 2007 caused a significant decline in the value and liquidity of issuers in the United States. In addition, high public debt in the United States has contributed to ongoing and systemic market risks. These market conditions may continue or get worse. In response to the crisis, the U.S. and other governments and the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank (the “Fed”) and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to support financial markets, including by keeping interest rates at historically low levels. More recently, the Fed has reduced its market support activities. The further withdrawal of this support, failure of efforts in response to the crisis, or investor perception that such efforts are not succeeding could negatively affect financial markets generally as well as the value and liquidity of certain securities. In addition, policy and legislative changes in the United States are changing many aspects of financial and other regulation and may have a significant effect on the U.S. markets generally, as well as the value of certain securities. In addition, a continued rise in the U.S. public debt level or U.S. austerity measures may adversely affect U.S. economic growth and the securities to which the Fund or the Underlying Funds have exposure.
Proxy Voting Policy
The Board has delegated the voting of proxies for the Fund’s securities to BFA pursuant to BFA’s proxy voting guidelines and procedures (the “BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines”). Under the BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines, BFA will vote proxies related to Fund securities in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders. From time to time, a vote may present a conflict between the interests of the Fund’s shareholders, on the one hand, and those of BFA, or any affiliated person of the Fund or BFA, on the other. BFA maintains policies and procedures that are designed to prevent undue influence on BFA’s proxy voting activity that might stem from any relationship between the issuer of a proxy (or any dissident shareholder) and BFA, BFA’s affiliates, the Fund or the Fund’s affiliates. Most conflicts are managed through a structural separation of BFA’s Corporate Governance Group from BFA’s employees with sales and client responsibilities. In addition, BFA maintains procedures to ensure that all engagements with corporate issuers or dissident shareholders are managed consistently and without regard to BFA’s relationship with the issuer of the proxy or the dissident shareholder. In certain instances, BFA may determine to engage an independent fiduciary to vote proxies as a further safeguard to avoid potential conflicts of interest or as otherwise required by applicable law. Copies of both the Fund's Proxy Voting Policy and the BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines are attached as Appendix A.
Information with respect to how BFA voted proxies relating to the Fund's portfolio securities during the 12-month period ended June 30 is available: (i) without charge, upon request, by calling 1-800-441-7450 or through the Fund's website at www.blackrock.com; and (ii) on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Portfolio Holdings Information
The Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of the Fund's portfolio holdings information that requires that such information be disclosed in a manner that: (i) is consistent with applicable legal requirements and in the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders; (ii) does not put the interests of BFA, the Distributor or any affiliated person of BFA or the Distributor, above those of Fund shareholders; (iii) does not advantage any current or prospective Fund shareholders over any other current or prospective Fund shareholders, except to the extent that certain Entities (as described below) may receive portfolio holdings information not available to other current or prospective Fund shareholders in connection with the dissemination of information necessary for transactions in Creation Units, as discussed below, and certain information may be provided to personnel of BFA and its affiliates who manage funds that invest a significant percentage of their assets in shares of the Fund for the purpose of facilitating risk management and hedging activities; and (iv) does not provide selective access to portfolio holdings information except pursuant to the procedures outlined below and to the extent appropriate confidentiality arrangements limiting the use of such information are in effect. The “Entities” referred to in sub-section (iii) above are generally limited to National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) members, subscribers to various fee-based subscription services, large institutional investors (known as “Authorized Participants”) that have been authorized by the Distributor to purchase and redeem large blocks of shares pursuant to legal requirements and market makers and other institutional market participants and entities that provide information or transactional services.
Each business day, the Fund's portfolio holdings information is provided to the Distributor or other agent for dissemination through the facilities of the NSCC and/or other fee-based subscription services to NSCC members and/or subscribers to
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those other fee-based subscription services, including market makers and Authorized Participants, and to entities that publish and/or analyze such information in connection with the process of purchasing or redeeming Creation Units or trading shares of the Fund in the secondary market or evaluating such potential transactions. This information typically reflects the Fund’s anticipated holdings on the following business day.
Daily access to information concerning the Fund's portfolio holdings is permitted (i) to certain personnel of those service providers that are involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, risk management, or other support to portfolio management; and (ii) to other personnel of BFA, the Distributor and their affiliates, and the administrator, custodian and fund accountant who deal directly with, or assist in, functions related to investment management, distribution, administration, custody, securities lending and fund accounting, as may be necessary to conduct business in the ordinary course in a manner consistent with federal securities laws and regulations thereunder. In addition, the Fund discloses its portfolio holdings as well as the Underlying Funds' portfolio holdings, daily at www.blackrock.com/cash. More information about this disclosure is available at www.blackrock.com/cash.
Portfolio holdings information made available in connection with the creation/redemption process may be provided to other entities that provide services to the Fund in the ordinary course of business after it has been disseminated to the NSCC. From time to time, information concerning portfolio holdings other than portfolio holdings information made available in connection with the creation/redemption process, as discussed above, may be provided to other entities that provide services to the Fund, including rating or ranking organizations, in the ordinary course of business, no earlier than one business day following the date of the information.
The Fund will disclose its complete portfolio holdings schedule in public filings with the SEC within 70 days of the end of the second and fourth fiscal quarters and within 60 days of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters and will provide such information to shareholders as required by federal securities laws and regulations thereunder. The Fund may, however, voluntarily disclose all or part of its portfolio holdings other than in connection with the creation/redemption process, as discussed above, in advance of required filings with the SEC, provided that such information is made generally available to all shareholders and other interested parties in a manner that is consistent with the above policy for disclosure of portfolio holdings information. Such information may be made available through a publicly-available website or other means that make the information available to all likely interested parties contemporaneously.
The Trust's Chief Compliance Officer or his delegate may authorize disclosure of portfolio holdings information pursuant to the above policy and procedures, subject to restrictions on selective disclosure imposed by applicable law.
The Board reviews the policy and procedures for disclosure of portfolio holdings information at least annually.
Investment Restrictions
The Fund has adopted its investment objective as a non-fundamental investment policy. Therefore, the Fund may change its investment objective without shareholder approval. The Board has adopted restrictions and policies relating to the investment of the Fund’s assets and its activities. Certain of the restrictions are fundamental policies of the Fund and may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities (which, for this purpose and under the Investment Company Act, means the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares).
Under these fundamental investment restrictions, the Fund may not:
1. Concentrate its investments in a particular industry, as that term is used in the Investment Company Act.
2. Borrow money, except as permitted under the Investment Company Act.
3. Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate the Investment Company Act.
4. Purchase or hold real estate, except the Fund may purchase and hold securities or other instruments that are secured by, or linked to, real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), mortgage-related securities and securities of issuers engaged in the real estate business, and the Fund may purchase and hold real estate as a result of the ownership of securities or other instruments.
5. Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting or as otherwise permitted by applicable law.
6. Purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts, except as permitted by the Investment Company Act.
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7. Make loans to the extent prohibited by the Investment Company Act.
8. Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund's classification as a diversified company under the Investment Company Act.
Notations Regarding the Fund’s Fundamental Investment Restrictions
The following notations are not considered to be part of the Fund’s fundamental investment restrictions and are subject to change without shareholder approval.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to concentration set forth in (1) above, the Investment Company Act does not define what constitutes “concentration” in an industry. The SEC staff has taken the position that investment of 25% or more of a fund’s total assets in one or more issuers conducting their principal activities in the same industry or group of industries constitutes concentration. It is possible that interpretations of concentration could change in the future. The policy in (1) above will be interpreted to refer to concentration as that term may be interpreted from time to time. The policy also will be interpreted to permit investment (directly or through the Underlying Funds) without limit in the following: securities of the U.S. government and its agencies or instrumentalities; securities of state, territory, possession or municipal governments and their authorities, agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions; and repurchase agreements collateralized by any such obligations. Accordingly, issuers of the foregoing securities will not be considered to be members of any industry. There also will be no limit on investment in issuers domiciled in a single jurisdiction or country. Finance companies will be considered to be in the industries of their parents if their activities are primarily related to financing the activities of the parents. Each foreign government will be considered to be a member of a separate industry. With respect to the Fund’s industry classifications, the Fund currently utilizes any one or more of the industry sub-classifications used by one or more widely recognized market indexes or rating group indexes, and/or as defined by Fund management. The policy also will be interpreted to give broad authority to the Fund as to how to classify issuers within or among industries.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to borrowing money set forth in (2) above, the Investment Company Act permits the Fund to borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the Fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose, and to borrow up to 5% of the Fund’s total assets from banks or other lenders for temporary purposes. (The Fund’s total assets include the amounts being borrowed.) To limit the risks attendant to borrowing, the Investment Company Act requires the Fund to maintain at all times an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the Fund’s total assets (including amounts borrowed), minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Borrowing money to increase portfolio holdings is known as “leveraging.” Certain trading practices and investments, such as reverse repurchase agreements, may be considered to be borrowings or involve leverage and thus are subject to the Investment Company Act restrictions. In accordance with SEC staff guidance and interpretations, when the Fund engages in such transactions, the Fund instead of maintaining asset coverage of at least 300%, may segregate or earmark liquid assets, or enter into an offsetting position, in an amount at least equal to the Fund’s exposure, on a mark-to-market basis, to the transaction (as calculated pursuant to requirements of the SEC). The policy in (2) above will be interpreted to permit the Fund to engage in trading practices and investments that may be considered to be borrowing or to involve leverage to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act and to permit the Fund to segregate or earmark liquid assets or enter into offsetting positions in accordance with the Investment Company Act. Short-term credits necessary for the settlement of securities transactions and arrangements with respect to securities lending will not be considered to be borrowings under the policy. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings are not subject to the policy.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to underwriting set forth in (5) above, the Investment Company Act does not prohibit the Fund from engaging in the underwriting business or from underwriting the securities of other issuers; in fact, in the case of diversified funds, the Investment Company Act permits the Fund to have underwriting commitments of up to 25% of its assets under certain circumstances. Those circumstances currently are that the amount of the Fund’s underwriting commitments, when added to the value of the Fund’s investments in issuers where the Fund owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of those issuers, cannot exceed the 25% cap. A fund engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act. Although it is not believed that the application of the 1933 Act provisions described above would cause the Fund to be engaged in the business of underwriting, the policy in (5) above will be interpreted not to prevent the Fund from engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities, regardless of whether the Fund may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act or is otherwise engaged in the underwriting business to the extent permitted by applicable law.
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With respect to the fundamental policy relating to lending set forth in (7) above, the Investment Company Act does not prohibit the Fund from making loans (including lending its securities); however, SEC staff interpretations currently prohibit funds from lending more than one-third of their total assets (including lending its securities), except through the purchase of debt obligations or the use of repurchase agreements. In addition, collateral arrangements with respect to options, forward currency and futures transactions and other derivative instruments (as applicable), as well as delays in the settlement of securities transactions, will not be considered loans.
The Fund is currently classified as a diversified fund under the Investment Company Act. This means that the Fund may not purchase securities of an issuer (other than (i) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities and (ii) securities of other investment companies) if, with respect to 75% of its total assets, (a) more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in securities of that issuer or (b) the Fund would hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of that issuer. With respect to the remaining 25% of its total assets, the Fund can invest more than 5% of its assets in one issuer. Under the Investment Company Act, the Fund cannot change its classification from diversified to non-diversified without shareholder approval.
Under its non-fundamental investment restrictions, which may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval, the Fund may not:
Make short sales of securities or maintain a short position, except to the extent permitted by the Fund’s Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information, as amended from time to time, and applicable law.
Unless otherwise indicated, all limitations under the Fund’s fundamental or non-fundamental investment restrictions apply only at the time that a transaction is undertaken. Any change in the percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in certain securities or other instruments resulting from market fluctuations or other changes in the Fund’s total assets will not require the Fund to dispose of an investment until BFA determines that it is practicable to sell or close out the investment without undue market or tax consequences.
The Fund has adopted a non-fundamental investment policy in accordance with Rule 35d-1 under the Investment Company Act to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in a portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated government securities and repurchase agreements secured by government securities (including indirect investment through the Underlying Funds). The Fund also has adopted a non-fundamental policy to provide its shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any change in such policy. If, subsequent to an investment, an 80% requirement is no longer met, the Fund’s future investments will be made in a manner that will bring the Fund into compliance with this policy.
Although the SEC has granted an exemptive order permitting registered investment companies and unit investment trusts that enter into a participation agreement with the Trust (“Investing Funds”) to invest in certain ETFs that are outside the same group of investment companies as the Investing Funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act subject to certain terms and conditions, the Fund does not rely on the exemptive order. Accordingly, Investing Funds must adhere to the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act when investing in the Fund.
Continuous Offering
The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirement and liability provisions of the 1933 Act.
For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent shares and sells such shares directly to customers or if it chooses to couple the creation of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the 1933 Act must take into account all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.
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Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, generally are required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares of the Fund are reminded that, pursuant to Rule 153 under the 1933 Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the 1933 Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Listing Exchange generally is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at the Listing Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is available only with respect to transactions on an exchange.
Management
Information on Trustees and Officers.
The Board consists of fifteen individuals (each a “Trustee”), thirteen of whom are not “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). The registered investment companies advised by BFA or its affiliates (the “BlackRock-advised Funds”) are organized into one complex of closed-end funds (the “Closed-End Complex”), two complexes of open-end funds (the “Equity-Liquidity Complex” and the “Equity-Bond Complex”) and one complex of exchange-traded funds (each a “BlackRock Fund Complex”). The Trust is included in the BlackRock Fund Complex referred to as the Equity-Liquidity Complex. The Trustees also oversee as board members the operations of the other open-end registered investment companies included in the Equity-Liquidity Complex.
The Board has overall responsibility for the oversight of the Trust and the Fund. The Chair of the Board is an Independent Trustee, and the Chair of each Board committee (each, a “Committee”) is an Independent Trustee. The Board has five standing Committees: an Audit Committee, a Governance and Nominating Committee, a Compliance Committee, a Performance Oversight and Contract Committee and an Executive Committee. The role of the Chair of the Board is to preside at all meetings of the Board, and to act as a liaison with service providers, officers, attorneys, and other Trustees generally between meetings. The Chair of each Committee performs a similar role with respect to the Committee. The Chair of the Board or the Chair of a Committee may also perform such other functions as may be delegated by the Board or the Committee from time to time. The Independent Trustees meet regularly outside the presence of Fund management, in executive session or with other service providers to the Fund. The Board has regular meetings five times a year, and may hold special meetings if required before its next regular meeting. Each Committee meets regularly to conduct the oversight functions delegated to that Committee by the Board and reports its findings to the Board. The Board and each standing Committee conduct annual assessments of their oversight function and structure. The Board has determined that the Board’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Board to exercise independent judgment over management and to allocate areas of responsibility among Committees and the full Board to enhance effective oversight.
The Board has engaged BFA to manage the Fund on a day-to-day basis. The Board is responsible for overseeing BFA, other service providers, the operations of the Fund and associated risks in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act, state law, other applicable laws, the Trust’s charter, and the Fund’s investment objective and strategies. The Board reviews, on an ongoing basis, the Fund’s performance, operations, and investment strategies and techniques. The Board also conducts reviews of BFA and its role in running the operations of the Fund.
Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Fund is the responsibility of BFA or of sub-advisers or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to the supervision of BFA. The Fund is subject to a number of risks, including investment, compliance, operational and valuation risks, among others. While there are a number of risk management functions performed by BFA and the sub-advisers or other service providers, as applicable, it is not possible to eliminate all of the risks applicable to the Fund. Risk oversight forms part of the Board’s general oversight of the Fund and is addressed as part of various Board and Committee activities. The Board, directly or through a Committee, also reviews reports from, among others, management, the independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund, sub-advisers, and internal auditors for the investment adviser or its affiliates, as appropriate, regarding risks faced by the Fund and management’s or the service provider’s risk functions. The Committee system facilitates the timely and efficient consideration of matters by the Trustees, and facilitates effective oversight of compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and of the Fund’s activities and associated risks. The Board has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer, who oversees the implementation and testing of the Fund’s compliance program and reports to the Board regarding compliance
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matters for the Fund and its service providers. The Independent Trustees have engaged independent legal counsel to assist them in performing their oversight responsibilities.
The members of the Audit Committee (the “Audit Committee”) are Kenneth L. Urish (Chair), Neil A. Cotty, Mark Stalnecker, Claire A. Walton and Frederick W. Winter, all of whom are Independent Trustees. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee are to approve, and recommend to the full Board for approval, the selection, retention, termination and compensation of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm (the “Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm”) and to oversee the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm’s work. The Audit Committee’s responsibilities include, without limitation, to (1) evaluate the qualifications and independence of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm; (2) approve all audit engagement terms and fees for the Fund; (3) review the conduct and results of each independent audit of the Fund’s annual financial statements; (4) review any issues raised by the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm or Fund management regarding the accounting or financial reporting policies and practices of the Fund and the internal controls of the Fund and certain service providers; (5) oversee the performance of the Fund’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm; (6) review and discuss with management and the Fund’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm the performance and findings of the Fund’s internal auditors; (7) discuss with Fund management its policies regarding risk assessment and risk management as such matters relate to the Fund’s financial reporting and controls; (8) resolve any disagreements between Fund management and the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm regarding financial reporting; and (9) undertake such other duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be delegated by the Board to the Audit Committee. The Board has adopted a written charter for the Audit Committee. During the twelve months ended _______________, the Audit Committee met ____ times.
The members of the Governance and Nominating Committee (the “Governance Committee”) are Dr. Matina S. Horner (Chair), Susan J. Carter, Collette Chilton, Cynthia A. Montgomery and Robert C. Robb, Jr., all of whom are Independent Trustees. The principal responsibilities of the Governance Committee are to (1) identify individuals qualified to serve as Independent Trustees of the Trust and recommend Independent Trustee nominees for election by shareholders or appointment by the Board; (2) advise the Board with respect to Board composition, procedures and committees (other than the Audit Committee); (3) oversee periodic self-assessments of the Board and committees of the Board (other than the Audit Committee); (4) review and make recommendations regarding Independent Trustee compensation; (5) monitor corporate governance matters and develop appropriate recommendations to the Board; (6) act as the administrative committee with respect to Board policies and procedures, committee policies and procedures (other than the Audit Committee) and codes of ethics as they relate to Independent Trustees; and (7) undertake such other duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be delegated by the Board to the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee may consider nominations for the office of Trustee made by Fund shareholders as it deems appropriate. Fund shareholders who wish to recommend a nominee should send nominations to the Secretary of the Trust that include biographical information and set forth the qualifications of the proposed nominee. The Board has adopted a written charter for the Governance Committee. During the twelve months ended ______________, the Governance Committee met ____ times.
The members of the Compliance Committee (the “Compliance Committee”) are Joseph P. Platt (Chair), Neil A. Cotty, Cynthia A. Montgomery, Robert C. Robb, Jr. and Claire A. Walton, all of whom are Independent Trustees. The Compliance Committee’s purpose is to assist the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee regulatory and fiduciary compliance matters involving the Trust, the fund-related activities of BFA and any sub-adviser and the Trust’s third-party service providers. The Compliance Committee’s responsibilities include, without limitation, to (1) oversee the compliance policies and procedures of the Trust and its service providers and recommend changes or additions to such policies and procedures; (2) review information on and, where appropriate, recommend policies concerning the Trust’s compliance with applicable law; (3) review reports from, oversee the annual performance review of, and make certain recommendations and determinations regarding the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (the “CCO”), including determining the amount and structure of the CCO’s compensation and recommending such amount and structure to the full Board for approval and ratification; and (4) undertake such other duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be delegated by the Board to the Compliance Committee. The Board has adopted a written charter for the Compliance Committee. During the twelve months ended _______________, the Compliance Committee met ____ times.
The members of the Performance Oversight and Contract Committee (the “Performance Oversight Committee”) are David O. Beim (Chair), Susan J. Carter, Collette Chilton, Mark Stalnecker and Frederick W. Winter, all of whom are Independent Trustees. The Performance Oversight Committee’s purpose is to assist the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee the Fund’s investment performance relative to its agreed-upon performance objectives and to assist the Independent Trustees in their consideration of investment advisory agreements. The Performance Oversight Committee’s responsibilities include,
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without limitation, to (1) review information on, and make recommendations to the full Board in respect of, the Fund’s investment objective, policies and practices; (2) review information on the Fund’s investment performance; (3) review information on appropriate benchmarks and competitive universes and unusual or exceptional investment matters; (4) review personnel and other resources devoted to management of the Fund and evaluate the nature and quality of information furnished to the Performance Oversight Committee; (5) recommend any required action regarding changes in fundamental and non-fundamental investment policies and restrictions, fund mergers or liquidations; (6) request and review information on the nature, extent and quality of services provided to the shareholders; (7) make recommendations to the Board concerning the approval or renewal of investment advisory agreements; and (8) undertake such other duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be delegated by the Board to the Performance Oversight Committee. The Board has adopted a written charter for the Performance Oversight Committee. During the twelve months ended _______________, the Performance Oversight Committee met ____ times.
The members of the Executive Committee (the “Executive Committee”) are Rodney D. Johnson (Chair) and Dr. Matina S. Horner, both of whom are Independent Trustees, and Barbara G. Novick, who serves as an interested Trustee. The principal responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to (1) act on routine matters between meetings of the Board; (2) act on such matters as may require urgent action between meetings of the Board; and (3) exercise such other authority as may from time to time be delegated to the Executive Committee by the Board. The Board has adopted a written charter for the Executive Committee. During the twelve months ended _______________, the Executive Committee held ____ formal meetings. The Executive Committee met informally numerous times throughout the fiscal year.
The Governance Committee has adopted a statement of policy that describes the experience, qualifications, skills and attributes that are necessary and desirable for potential Independent Trustee candidates (the “Statement of Policy”). The Board believes that each Independent Trustee satisfied, at the time he or she was initially elected or appointed a Trustee, and continues to satisfy, the standards contemplated by the Statement of Policy. Furthermore, in determining that a particular Independent Trustee was and continues to be qualified to serve as a Trustee, the Board has considered a variety of criteria, none of which, in isolation, was controlling. The Board believes that, collectively, the Independent Trustees have balanced and diverse experience, skills, attributes and qualifications, which allow the Board to operate effectively in governing the Trust and protecting the interests of shareholders. Among the attributes common to all Independent Trustees are their ability to review critically, evaluate, question and discuss information provided to them, to interact effectively with the Fund’s investment adviser, sub-advisers, other service providers, counsel and the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, and to exercise effective business judgment in the performance of their duties as Trustees.
Each Trustee’s ability to perform his or her duties effectively is evidenced by his or her educational background or professional training; business, consulting, public service or academic positions; experience from service as a board member of the Trust and the other funds in the BlackRock Fund Complexes (and any predecessor funds), other investment funds, public companies, non-profit entities or other organizations; ongoing commitment to and participation in Board and Committee meetings, as well as his or her leadership of standing and ad hoc committees throughout the years; or other relevant life experiences.
The table below discusses some of the experiences, qualifications and skills of each of the Trustees that support the conclusion that each Trustee should serve (or continue to serve) on the Board.
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Trustees   Experience, Qualifications and Skills
Independent Trustees    
David O. Beim   David O. Beim has served for over 16 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, L.P. (“MLIM”) funds. Mr. Beim has served as a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business since 1991 and has taught courses on corporate finance, international banking and emerging financial markets. The Board benefits from the perspective and background gained by his almost 20 years of academic experience. He has published numerous articles and books on a range of topics, including, among others, banking and finance. In addition, Mr. Beim spent 25 years in investment banking, including starting and running the investment banking business at Bankers Trust Company.
Susan J. Carter   Susan J. Carter recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. She has over 35 years of experience in investment management. She has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Commonfund Capital, Inc. (“CCI”), a registered investment adviser focused on non-profit investors, from 1997 to 2013, Chief Executive Officer of CCI from 2013 to 2014 and Senior Advisor to CCI in 2015. Ms. Carter currently serves as director to Pacific Pension Institute, Advisory Board Member for the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Tuck School of Business, Advisory Board Member for Girls Who Invest, and Advisory Board Member for Bridges Ventures. These positions have provided her with insight and perspective on the markets and the economy. The Board expects to benefit from this knowledge and experience
Collette Chilton   Collette Chilton recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. Ms. Chilton has over 20 years of experience in investment management. She has held the position of Chief Investment Officer of Williams College since October 2006. Prior to that she was President and Chief Investment Officer of Lucent Asset Management Corporation, where she oversaw approximately $40 billion in pension and retirement savings assets for the company. These positions have provided her with insight and perspective on the markets and the economy. The Board benefits from this knowledge and experience.
Neil A. Cotty   Neil A. Cotty recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 19 years at Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates, where he served, at different times, as the Chief Financial Officer of various businesses including Investment Banking, Global Markets, Wealth Management and Consumer and also served ten years as the Chief Accounting Officer for Bank of America Corporation. The Board expects to benefit from his knowledge and experience.
Dr. Matina S. Horner   Dr. Matina S. Horner has served for over ten years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. The Board benefits from her prior service as Executive Vice President of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund, which provided Dr. Horner with management and corporate governance experience. In addition, Dr. Horner served as a professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and served as President of Radcliffe College for 17 years. Dr. Horner also served on various public, private and non-profit boards.
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Trustees   Experience, Qualifications and Skills
Rodney D. Johnson   Rodney D. Johnson has served for over 20 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. He has over 25 years of experience as a financial advisor covering a range of engagements, which has broadened his knowledge of and experience with the investment management business. Prior to founding Fairmount Capital Advisors, Inc., Mr. Johnson served as Chief Financial Officer of Temple University for four years. He served as Director of Finance and Managing Director, in addition to a variety of other roles, for the City of Philadelphia, and has extensive experience in municipal finance. Mr. Johnson was also a tenured associate professor of finance at Temple University and a research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Cynthia A. Montgomery   Cynthia A. Montgomery has served for over 20 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy MLIM funds. The Board benefits from Ms. Montgomery’s more than 20 years of academic experience as a professor at Harvard Business School where she taught courses on corporate strategy and corporate governance. Ms. Montgomery also has business management and corporate governance experience through her service on the corporate boards of a variety of public companies. She has also authored numerous articles and books on these topics.
Joseph P. Platt   Joseph P. Platt has served for over 15 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. Mr. Platt currently serves as general partner at Thorn Partners, LP, a private investment company. Prior to his joining Thorn Partners, LP, he was an owner, director and executive vice president with Johnson and Higgins, an insurance broker and employee benefits consultant. He has over 25 years of experience in the areas of insurance, compensation and benefits. Mr. Platt also serves on the boards of public, private and non-profit companies.
Robert C. Robb, Jr.   Robert C. Robb, Jr. has served for over 15 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. Mr. Robb has over 30 years of experience in management consulting and has worked with many companies and business associations located throughout the United States, including being a former director of PNC Bank Board and a former director of Brinks, Inc. Mr. Robb brings to the Board a wealth of practical business experience across a range of industries.
Mark Stalnecker   Mark Stalnecker recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. Mr. Stalnecker has gained a wealth of experience in investing and asset management from his over 13 years of service as the Chief Investment Officer of the University of Delaware as well as from his various positions with First Union Corporation, including Senior Vice President and State Investment Director of First Investment Advisors. The Board benefits from his experience and perspective as the Chief Investment Officer of a university endowment and from the oversight experience he gained from service on various private and non-profit boards.
Kenneth L. Urish   Kenneth L. Urish has served for over 15 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting. Mr. Urish has served as a managing member of an accounting and consulting firm. Mr. Urish has been determined by the Audit Committee to be an audit committee financial expert, as such term is defined in the applicable Commission rules.
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Trustees   Experience, Qualifications and Skills
Claire A. Walton   Claire A. Walton recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. She has over 25 years of experience in investment management. She has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Liberty Square Asset Management, LP from 1998 to 2015, an investment manager that specialized in long/short non-U.S. equity investments, and has been an owner and General Partner of Neon Liberty Capital Management, LLC since 2003, a firm focusing on long/short equities in global emerging and frontier markets. These positions have provided her with insight and perspective on the markets and the economy. The Board expects to benefit from this knowledge and experience.
Frederick W. Winter   Frederick W. Winter has served for over 15 years on the boards of registered investment companies, most recently as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex and its predecessor funds, including the legacy BlackRock funds. The Board benefits from Mr. Winter’s years of academic experience, having served as a professor and dean emeritus of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh since 2005, and dean thereof from 1997 to 2005. He is widely regarded as a specialist in marketing strategy, marketing management, business-to-business marketing and services marketing. He has also served as a consultant to more than 50 different firms.
Interested Trustees    
Barbara G. Novick   Barbara G. Novick recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. Ms. Novick has extensive experience in the financial services industry, including more than 26 years with BlackRock. Ms. Novick currently is a member of BlackRock’s Global Executive, Global Operating and Corporate Risk Management Committees and chairs BlackRock’s Government Relations Steering Committee. For the first twenty years at BlackRock, Ms. Novick oversaw global business development, marketing and client service across equity, fixed income, liquidity, alternative investment and real estate products, and in her current role, heads BlackRock’s efforts globally on government relations and public policy. Prior to joining BlackRock, Ms. Novick was Vice President of the Mortgage Products Group at the First Boston Corporation and prior to that, was with Morgan Stanley. The Board benefits from Ms. Novick’s wealth of experience and long history with BlackRock and BlackRock’s management practices, investment strategies and products, which stretches back to BlackRock’s founding in 1988.
John M. Perlowski   John M. Perlowski recently joined as a member of the boards of the funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex. Mr. Perlowski’s experience as Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2009, as the Head of BlackRock Global Fund Services since 2009, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of the BlackRock-advised Funds provides him with a strong understanding of the BlackRock-advised Funds, their operations, and the business and regulatory issues facing the BlackRock-advised Funds. Mr. Perlowski’s prior position as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Product Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and his former service as Treasurer and Senior Vice President of the Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds and as Director of the Goldman Sachs Offshore Funds provides the Board with the benefit of his experience with the management practices of other financial companies.
Biographical Information
Certain biographical and other information relating to the Trustees of the Trust is set forth below, including their address and year of birth, principal occupations for at least the last five years, length of time served, total number of registered investment companies and investment portfolios overseen in the BlackRock-advised Funds and any currently held public company and investment company directorships.
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Name, Address and Year of Birth   Position(s) Held with the Trust   Length of Time Served   Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
During Past
Five Years
Independent Trustees1                    
David O. Beim2
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1940
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Professor of Professional Practice at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business since 1991; Trustee, Phillips Exeter Academy from 2002 to 2012; Chairman, Wave Hill, Inc. (public garden and cultural center) from 1990 to 2006.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Susan J. Carter
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1956
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Director, Pacific Pension Institute since 2014; Advisory Board Member, Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Tuck School of Business since 1997; Senior Advisor, Commonfund Capital, Inc. (“CCI”) (investment adviser) in 2015; Chief Executive Officer, CCI from 2013 to 2014; President & Chief Executive Officer, CCI from 1997 to 2013; Advisory Board Member, Girls Who Invest since 2015; Advisory Board Member, Bridges Ventures since 2016.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Collette Chilton
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1958
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Chief Investment Officer, Williams College since 2006; Chief Investment Officer, Lucent Asset Management Corporation from 1998 to 2006.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
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Name, Address and Year of Birth   Position(s) Held with the Trust   Length of Time Served   Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
During Past
Five Years
Neil A. Cotty
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1954
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Bank of America Corporation from 1996 to 2015, serving in various senior finance leadership roles, including Chief Accounting Officer, from 2009 to 2015, Chief Financial Officer of Global Banking, Markets and Wealth Management from 2008 to 2009, Chief Accounting Officer from 2004 to 2008, Chief Financial Officer of Consumer Bank from 2003 to 2004, Chief Financial Officer of Global Corporate Investment Bank from 1999 to 2002.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Dr. Matina S. Horner3
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1939
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Executive Vice President, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund from 1989 to 2003.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   NSTAR (electric and gas utility)
Rodney D. Johnson4
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1941
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  President, Fairmount Capital Advisors, Inc. from 1987 to 2013; Member of the Archdiocesan Investment Committee of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 2004 to 2012; Director, The Committee of Seventy (civic) from 2006 to 2012; Director, Fox Chase Cancer Center from 2004 to 2011.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Cynthia A. Montgomery
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1952
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Professor, Harvard Business School since 1989; Director, McLean Hospital from 2005 to 2012; Director, Harvard Business School Publishing from 2005 to 2010.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. (manufacturing)
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Name, Address and Year of Birth   Position(s) Held with the Trust   Length of Time Served   Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
During Past
Five Years
Joseph P. Platt5
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1947
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Director, Jones and Brown (Canadian insurance broker) since 1998; General Partner, Thorn Partners, LP (private investments) since 1998; Director, WQED Multi-Media (public broadcasting not-for-profit) since 2001; Director, The West Penn Allegheny Health System (a not-for-profit health system) from 2008 to 2013; Partner, Amarna Corporation, LLC (private investment company) from 2002 to 2008.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (reinsurance company)
Robert C. Robb, Jr.
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1945
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Partner, Lewis, Eckert, Robb and Company (management and financial consulting firm) since 1981.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Mark Stalnecker
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1951
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Chief Investment Officer, University of Delaware from 1999 to 2013; Trustee, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate since 2001; Member of the Investment Committee, Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2002; Member of the Investment Committee, Christiana Care Health System since 2009; Member of the Investment Committee, Delaware Community Foundation from 2013 to 2014.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
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Name, Address and Year of Birth   Position(s) Held with the Trust   Length of Time Served   Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
During Past
Five Years
Kenneth L. Urish6
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1951
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Managing Partner, Urish Popeck & Co., LLC (certified public accountants and consultants) since 1976; Immediate past-Chairman of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Committee Member thereof since 2007; Member of External Advisory Board, The Pennsylvania State University Accounting Department since 2001; Principal, UP Strategic Wealth Investment Advisors, LLC since 2013; Trustee, The Holy Family Institute from 2001 to 2010; President and Trustee, Pittsburgh Catholic Publishing Associates from 2003 to 2008; Director, Inter-Tel from 2006 to 2007.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Claire A. Walton
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1957
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Liberty Square Asset Management, LP from 1998 to 2015; General Partner of Neon Liberty Capital Management, LLC since 2003; Director, Boston Hedge Fund Group since 2009; Director, Woodstock Ski Runners since 2013; Director, Massachusetts Council on Economic Education from 2013 to 2015.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
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Name, Address and Year of Birth   Position(s) Held with the Trust   Length of Time Served   Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
During Past
Five Years
Frederick W. Winter
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1945
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Director, Alkon Corporation (pneumatics) since 1992; Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Joseph M. Katz School of Business, University of Pittsburgh from 2005 to 2013 and Dean thereof from 1997 to 2005; Director, Tippman Sports (recreation) from 2005 to 2013.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Interested Trustees7                    
Barbara G. Novick
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1960
  Trustee   2016 to
present
  Vice Chairman of BlackRock, Inc. since 2006; Chair of BlackRock’s Government Relations Steering Committee since 2009; Head of the Global Client Group of BlackRock, Inc. from 1988 to 2008.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
John M. Perlowski
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1964
  Trustee, President and Chief Executive Officer   2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2009; Head of BlackRock Global Fund Services since 2009; Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Product Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. from 2003 to 2009; Treasurer of Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds from 2003 to 2009 and Senior Vice President thereof from 2007 to 2009; Director of Goldman Sachs Offshore Funds from 2002 to 2009; Director of Family Resource Network (charitable foundation) since 2009.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None

1 Independent Trustees serve until their resignation, retirement, removal or death, or until December 31 of the year in which they turn 75. The Board has determined to extend the terms of Independent Trustees on a case-by-case basis, as appropriate.
2 Chair of the Performance Oversight Committee.
3 Chair of the Governance Committee.
4 Chair of the Board.
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5 Chair of the Compliance Committee.
6 Chair of the Audit Committee.
7 Ms. Novick and Mr. Perlowski are both “interested persons,” as defined in the 1940 Act, of the Trust based on their positions with BlackRock, Inc. and its affiliates.
Certain biographical and other information relating to the officers of the Trust is set forth below, including their address and year of birth, principal occupations for at least the last five years, length of time served, total number of registered investment companies and investment portfolios overseen in the BlackRock-advised Funds and any currently held public company and investment company directorships.
Name, Address
and Year of Birth
  Position(s)
Held with the
Trust
  Length of
Time Served1
  Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
Richard Hoerner, CFA
55 East 52nd Street New York, NY 10055
1958
  Vice President   2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2000; Head of the Global Cash Group since 2013; Co-head of the Global Cash and Securities Lending Group from 2010 to 2013; Member of the Cash Management Group Executive Committee since 2005.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Jennifer McGovern
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1977
  Vice President   2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2016; Director of BlackRock, Inc. from 2011 to 2015; Head of Product Structure and Oversight for BlackRock’s U.S. Wealth Advisory Group since 2013; Vice President of BlackRock, Inc. from 2008 to 2010.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Neal J. Andrews
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1966
  Chief
Financial
Officer
  2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2006; Senior Vice President and Line of Business Head of Fund Accounting and Administration at PNC Global Investment Servicing (U.S.) Inc. from 1992 to 2006.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
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Name, Address
and Year of Birth
  Position(s)
Held with the
Trust
  Length of
Time Served1
  Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
Jay M. Fife
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1970
  Treasurer   2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2007; Director of BlackRock, Inc. in 2006; Assistant Treasurer of the MLIM and Fund Asset Management, L.P. advised funds from 2005 to 2006; Director of MLIM Fund Services Group from 2001 to 2006.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Charles Park
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1967
  Chief
Compliance
Officer
  2016 to
present
  Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer for the BlackRock-advised Funds in the Equity-Bond Complex, the Equity-Liquidity Complex and the Closed-End Complex from 2014 to 2015; Chief Compliance Officer of BlackRock Advisors, LLC and the BlackRock-advised Funds in the Equity-Bond Complex, the Equity-Liquidity Complex and the Closed-End Complex since 2014; Principal of and Chief Compliance Officer for iShares® Delaware Trust Sponsor LLC since 2012 and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) since 2006; Chief Compliance Officer for the BFA-advised iShares exchange traded funds since 2006; Chief Compliance Officer for BlackRock Asset Management International Inc. since 2012.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
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Name, Address
and Year of Birth
  Position(s)
Held with the
Trust
  Length of
Time Served1
  Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
  Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen
  Public
Company and
Investment
Company
Directorships
Fernanda Piedra
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1969
  Anti-Money
Laundering
Compliance
Officer
  2016 to
present
  Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2014; Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Regional Head of Financial Crime for the Americas at BlackRock, Inc. since 2014; Head of Regulatory Changes and Remediation for the Asset Wealth Management Division of Deutsche Bank from 2010 to 2014; Vice President of Goldman Sachs (Anti-Money Laundering/ Suspicious Activities Group) from 2004 to 2010.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None
Benjamin Archibald
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
1975
  Secretary   2016 to
present
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2014; Director of BlackRock, Inc. from 2010 to 2013; Secretary of the iShares exchange traded funds since 2015; Secretary of the BlackRock-advised mutual funds since 2012.   [__] RICs consisting of [__] Portfolios   None

1
Officers of the Trust serve at the pleasure of the Board.
Share Ownership
Information relating to each Trustee’s share ownership in the Fund and in all BlackRock-advised Funds that are overseen by the respective Trustee (“Supervised Funds”) as of December 31, 2015 is set forth in the chart below:
Trustees   Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in the Fund
  Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in
Supervised Funds
Interested Trustees:        
Barbara G. Novick   None   Over $100,000
John M. Perlowski   None   Over $100,000
Independent Trustees:        
David O. Beim   None   Over $100,000
Susan J. Carter1   None   None
Collette Chilton   None   Over $100,000
Neil A. Cotty1   None   $10,001-$50,000
Dr. Matina S. Horner   None   Over $100,000
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Trustees   Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in the Fund
  Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in
Supervised Funds
Rodney D. Johnson   None   Over $100,000
Cynthia A. Montgomery   None   Over $100,000
Joseph P. Platt   None   Over $100,000
Robert C. Robb, Jr.   None   Over $100,000
Mark Stalnecker   None   Over $100,000
Kenneth L. Urish   None   Over $100,000
Claire A. Walton1   None   None
Frederick W. Winter   None   Over $100,000

1 Each of Mses. Carter and Walton and Mr. Cotty was elected to serve as a Trustee of the Supervised Funds effective February 8, 2016.
As of _____________, the Trustees and officers of the Trust as a group owned an aggregate of less than 1% of any class of the outstanding shares of the Fund. As of December 31, 2015, none of the Independent Trustees of the Trust or their immediate family members owned beneficially or of record any securities of the Fund’s investment adviser, principal underwriter, or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with such entities.
Compensation of Trustees
Each Trustee who is an Independent Trustee is paid as compensation an annual retainer of $275,000 per year for his or her services as a board member of the BlackRock-advised Funds in the Equity-Liquidity Complex, including the Trust, and a $15,000 board meeting fee to be paid for each in-person board meeting attended (and may receive a $5,000 board meeting fee for telephonic attendance at board meetings), for up to five board meetings held in a calendar year (compensation for meetings in excess of this number to be determined on a case-by-case basis), together with out-of-pocket expenses in accordance with a board policy on travel and other business expenses relating to attendance at meetings. Each Independent Trustee receives $10,000 per year for each standing Committee on which he or she serves for up to two standing Committee assignments but is not paid this amount for serving on a Committee which he or she chairs. The Chair of the Board is paid an additional annual retainer of $120,000. The Chair of the Audit Committee is paid an additional annual retainer of $40,000 and the Chairs of the Compliance Committee, Governance Committee and Performance Oversight Committee are each paid an additional annual retainer of $30,000.
The following table sets forth the compensation the Trust expects to pay to the Trustees on behalf of the Fund for the period ending ____________ and the aggregate compensation paid to them by all BlackRock-advised Funds for the calendar year ended December 31, 2015.
Trustees   BlackRock Government
Collateral Pledge Unit
  Estimated
Annual
Benefits
Upon
Retirement
  Aggregate
Compensation
from other
BlackRock-
Advised
Funds1
Independent Trustees:            
David O. Beim2   $___   None   $355,000
Susan J. Carter3       None   None
Collette Chilton   ___   None   $345,000
Neil A. Cotty3       None   None
Dr. Matina S. Horner4   ___   None   $355,000
Rodney D. Johnson5   ___   None   $455,000
Cynthia A. Montgomery   ___   None   $345,000
Joseph P. Platt6   ___   None   $355,000
Robert C. Robb, Jr.   ___   None   $345,000
Mark Stalnecker   ___   None   $345,000
Kenneth L. Urish7   ___   None   $355,000
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Trustees   BlackRock Government
Collateral Pledge Unit
  Estimated
Annual
Benefits
Upon
Retirement
  Aggregate
Compensation
from other
BlackRock-
Advised
Funds1
Claire A. Walton3       None   None
Frederick W. Winter   ___   None   $345,000
Interested Trustees:            
Barbara G. Novick   ___   None   None
John M. Perlowski8   ___   None   None

1 For the number of BlackRock-advised Funds from which each Trustee receives compensation, see the Biographical Information chart beginning on page 18.
2 Chair of the Performance Oversight Committee.
3 Each of Mses. Carter and Walton and Mr. Cotty was elected to serve as a Trustee of the Supervised Funds effective February 8, 2016.
4 Chair of the Governance Committee.
5 Chair of the Board.
6 Chair of the Compliance Committee.
7 Chair of the Audit Committee.
8 Mr. Perlowski was appointed to serve as a Trustee of the Supervised Funds effective September 25, 2015.
Control Persons and Principal Holders of Securities.  Ownership information is not provided for the Fund, as it has not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.
Potential Conflicts of Interest.  The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”) has a significant economic interest in BlackRock, Inc., the parent of BFA, the Fund's investment adviser. PNC is considered to be an affiliate of BlackRock, Inc. under the 1940 Act. Certain activities of BFA, BlackRock, Inc. and their affiliates (collectively, “BlackRock”) and PNC and its affiliates (collectively, “PNC” and together with BlackRock, “Affiliates”), with respect to the Fund and/or other accounts managed by BlackRock or PNC, may give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest such as those described below.
BlackRock is one of the world's largest asset management firms. PNC is a diversified financial services organization spanning the retail, business and corporate markets. BlackRock and PNC are affiliates of one another under the 1940 Act. BlackRock and PNC and their respective affiliates (including, for these purposes, their directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees), including the entities and personnel who may be involved in the investment activities and business operations of the Fund, are engaged worldwide in businesses, including equity, fixed-income, cash management and alternative investments. These are considerations of which investors in the Fund should be aware, and which may cause conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. These activities and interests include potential multiple advisory, transactional, financial and other interests in securities and other instruments that may be purchased or sold by the Fund.
BlackRock and its Affiliates may manage or advise with respect to accounts or funds (including separate accounts and other funds and collective investment vehicles) that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and instruments as the Fund. BlackRock and one or more Affiliates are also major participants in the global currency, equities, swap and fixed-income markets, in each case for the accounts of customers and, in some cases, on a proprietary basis. As such, one or more Affiliates are or may be actively engaged in transactions in the same securities, currencies, and instruments in which the Fund invests. Such activities could affect the prices and availability of the securities, currencies, and instruments in which the Fund invests, which could have an adverse impact on the Fund's performance. Such transactions, particularly in respect of proprietary accounts, will generally be executed independently of the Fund's transactions and thus at prices or rates that may be more or less favorable than those obtained by the Fund. When BlackRock and its Affiliates purchase or sell the same assets for their managed accounts, including the Fund, the assets actually purchased or sold may be allocated among the accounts on a basis determined in their good faith discretion to be equitable. In some cases, this system may adversely affect the amount or price of the assets purchased or sold for the Fund. In addition, transactions in investments by one or more other accounts managed by BlackRock or its Affiliates may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund, particularly, but not limited to, with respect to small capitalization, emerging market or less liquid strategies. This may occur when investment decisions regarding the Fund are based on research or other information that is
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also used to support decisions for other accounts. When BlackRock or its Affiliates implements a portfolio decision or strategy on behalf of another account ahead of, or contemporaneously with, similar decisions or strategies for the Fund, market impact, liquidity constraints, or other factors could result in the Fund receiving less favorable trading results and the costs of implementing such decisions or strategies could be increased or the Fund could otherwise be disadvantaged. BlackRock or its Affiliates may, in certain cases, elect to implement internal policies and procedures designed to limit such consequences, which may cause the Fund to be unable to engage in certain activities, including purchasing or disposing of securities, when it might otherwise be desirable for it to do so.
Conflicts may also arise because portfolio decisions regarding the Fund may benefit other accounts managed by BlackRock or its Affiliates. For example, the sale of a long position or establishment of a short position by the Fund may impair the price of the same security sold short by (and therefore benefit) one or more Affiliates or their other accounts, and the purchase of a security or covering of a short position in a security by the Fund may increase the price of the same security held by (and therefore benefit) one or more Affiliates or their other accounts or funds or accounts managed by BlackRock or its Affiliates.
In certain circumstances, BFA, on behalf of the Fund, may seek to buy from or sell securities to another fund or account advised by BFA or an Affiliate. BFA may (but is not required to) effect purchases and sales between BFA clients or clients of Affiliates (“cross trades”), including the Fund, if BFA believes such transactions are appropriate based on each party's investment objectives and guidelines, subject to applicable law and regulation. There may be potential conflicts of interest or regulatory issues relating to these transactions which could limit BFA’s decision to engage in these transactions for the Fund. BFA may have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in such transactions. On any occasion when the Fund participates in a cross trade, BFA will comply with procedures adopted pursuant to Rule 17a-7 under the 1940 Act and applicable SEC guidance.
BlackRock and its Affiliates and their clients may pursue or enforce rights with respect to an issuer in which the Fund has invested, and those activities may have an adverse effect on the Fund. As a result, prices, availability, liquidity and terms of the Fund's investments may be negatively impacted by the activities of BlackRock or its Affiliates or their clients, and transactions for the Fund may be impaired or effected at prices or terms that may be less favorable than would otherwise have been the case.
The results of the Fund's investment activities may differ significantly from the results achieved by BlackRock and its Affiliates for their proprietary accounts or other accounts (including investment companies or collective investment vehicles) managed or advised by them. It is possible that one or more Affiliate-managed accounts and such other accounts will achieve investment results that are substantially more or less favorable than the results achieved by the Fund. Moreover, it is possible that the Fund will sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliate-managed accounts achieve significant profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible. The investment activities of one or more Affiliates for their proprietary accounts and accounts under their management may also limit the investment opportunities for the Fund in certain emerging and other markets in which limitations are imposed upon the amount of investment, in the aggregate or in individual issuers, by affiliated foreign investors.
From time to time, the Fund's activities may also be restricted because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. As a result, there may be periods, for example, when BlackRock, and/or one or more Affiliates, will not initiate or recommend certain types of transactions in certain securities or instruments with respect to which BlackRock and/or one or more Affiliates are performing services or when position limits have been reached.
In connection with its management of the Fund, BlackRock may have access to certain fundamental analysis and proprietary technical models developed by one or more Affiliates. BlackRock will not be under any obligation, however, to effect transactions on behalf of the Fund in accordance with such analysis and models. In addition, neither BlackRock nor any of its Affiliates will have any obligation to make available any information regarding their proprietary activities or strategies, or the activities or strategies used for other accounts managed by them, for the benefit of the management of the Fund and it is not anticipated that BlackRock will have access to such information for the purpose of managing the Fund. The proprietary activities or portfolio strategies of BlackRock and its Affiliates, or the activities or strategies used for accounts managed by them or other customer accounts could conflict with the transactions and strategies employed by BlackRock in managing the Fund.
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The Fund may be included in investment models developed by BFA and its Affiliates for use by clients and financial advisors. The price, availability and liquidity of the Fund may be impacted by purchases and redemptions of the Fund by model-driven investment portfolios.
In addition, certain principals and certain employees of BlackRock are also principals or employees of Affiliates. As a result, the performance by these principals and employees of their obligations to such other entities may be a consideration of which investors in the Fund should be aware.
BlackRock may enter into transactions and invest in securities, instruments and currencies on behalf of the Fund in which clients of BlackRock or its Affiliates, or, to the extent permitted by the SEC and applicable law, BlackRock or another Affiliate, serves as the counterparty, principal or issuer. In such cases, such party's interests in the transaction will be adverse to the interests of the Fund, and such party may have no incentive to assure that the Fund obtains the best possible prices or terms in connection with the transactions. In addition, the purchase, holding and sale of such investments by the Fund may enhance the profitability of BlackRock or its Affiliates. One or more Affiliates may also create, write or issue derivatives for their clients, the underlying securities, currencies or instruments of which may be those in which the Fund invests or which may be based on the performance of the Fund. The Fund may, subject to applicable law, purchase investments that are the subject of an underwriting or other distribution by one or more Affiliates and may also enter into transactions with other clients of an Affiliate where such other clients have interests adverse to those of the Fund.
At times, these activities may cause departments of BlackRock or its Affiliates to give advice to clients that may cause these clients to take actions adverse to the interests of the Fund. To the extent affiliated transactions are permitted, the Fund will deal with BlackRock and its Affiliates on an arms-length basis.
To the extent authorized by applicable law, one or more Affiliates may act as broker, dealer, agent, lender or adviser or in other commercial capacities for the Fund. It is anticipated that the commissions, mark-ups, mark-downs, financial advisory fees, underwriting and placement fees, sales fees, financing and commitment fees, brokerage fees, other fees, compensation or profits, rates, terms and conditions charged by an Affiliate will be in its view commercially reasonable, although each Affiliate, including its sales personnel, will have an interest in obtaining fees and other amounts that are favorable to the Affiliate and such sales personnel.
Subject to applicable law, the Affiliates (and their personnel and other distributors) will be entitled to retain fees and other amounts that they receive in connection with their service to the Fund as broker, dealer, agent, lender, adviser or in other commercial capacities and no accounting to the Fund or its shareholders will be required, and no fees or other compensation payable by the Fund or its shareholders will be reduced by reason of receipt by an Affiliate of any such fees or other amounts.
When an Affiliate acts as broker, dealer, agent, adviser or in other commercial capacities in relation to the Fund, the Affiliate may take commercial steps in its own interests, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund. The Fund will be required to establish business relationships with its counterparties based on the Fund's own credit standing. Neither BlackRock nor any of the Affiliates will have any obligation to allow their credit to be used in connection with the Fund's establishment of its business relationships, nor is it expected that the Fund's counterparties will rely on the credit of BlackRock or any of the Affiliates in evaluating the Fund's creditworthiness.
Purchases and sales of securities for the Fund may be bunched or aggregated with orders for other BlackRock client accounts. BlackRock, however, is not required to bunch or aggregate orders if portfolio management decisions for different accounts are made separately, or if it determines that bunching or aggregating is not practicable or required, or in cases involving client direction.
Prevailing trading activity frequently may make impossible the receipt of the same price or execution on the entire volume of securities purchased or sold. When this occurs, the various prices may be averaged, and the Fund will be charged or credited with the average price. Thus, the effect of the aggregation may operate on some occasions to the disadvantage of the Fund. In addition, under certain circumstances, the Fund will not be charged the same commission or commission equivalent rates in connection with a bunched or aggregated order.
BlackRock may select brokers (including, without limitation, Affiliates, to the extent authorized by applicable law) that furnish BlackRock, the Fund, other BlackRock client accounts or other Affiliates or personnel, directly or through correspondent relationships, with research or other appropriate services which provide, in BlackRock's view, appropriate assistance to
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BlackRock in the investment decision-making process (including with respect to futures, fixed-price offerings and over-the-counter (“OTC”) transactions). Such research or other services may include, to the extent permitted by law, research reports on companies, industries and securities; economic and financial data; proxy analysis; trade industry seminars; computer data bases; research-oriented software and other services and products. Research or other services obtained in this manner may be used in servicing any or all of the Fund and other BlackRock client accounts, including in connection with BlackRock client accounts other than those that pay commissions to the broker relating to the research or other service arrangements. Such products and services may disproportionately benefit other BlackRock client accounts relative to the Fund based on the amount of brokerage commissions paid by the Fund and such other BlackRock client accounts. For example, research or other services that are paid for through one client's commissions may not be used in managing that client's account. In addition, other BlackRock client accounts may receive the benefit, including disproportionate benefits, of economies of scale or price discounts in connection with products and services that may be provided to the Fund and to such other BlackRock client accounts. To the extent that BlackRock uses soft dollars, it will not have to pay for those products and services itself.
BlackRock may receive research that is bundled with the trade execution, clearing, and/or settlement services provided by a particular broker-dealer. To the extent that BlackRock receives research on this basis, many of the same conflicts related to traditional soft dollars may exist. For example, the research effectively will be paid by client commissions that also will be used to pay for the execution, clearing, and settlement services provided by the broker-dealer and will not be paid by BlackRock.
BlackRock may endeavor to execute trades through brokers who, pursuant to such arrangements, provide research or other services in order to ensure the continued receipt of research or other services BlackRock believes are useful in its investment decision-making process. BlackRock may from time to time choose not to engage in the above described arrangements to varying degrees. BlackRock may also enter into commission sharing arrangements under which BlackRock may execute transactions through a broker-dealer, including, where permitted, an Affiliate, and request that the broker-dealer allocate a portion of the commissions or commission credits to another firm that provides research to BlackRock. To the extent that BlackRock engages in commission sharing arrangements, many of the same conflicts related to traditional soft dollars may exist.
BlackRock may utilize certain electronic crossing networks (“ECNs”) in executing client securities transactions for certain types of securities. These ECNs may charge fees for their services, including access fees and transaction fees. The transaction fees, which are similar to commissions or mark-ups/mark-downs, will generally be charged to clients and, like commissions and mark-ups/mark-downs, would generally be included in the cost of the securities purchased. Access fees may be paid by BlackRock even though incurred in connection with executing transactions on behalf of clients, including the Fund. In certain circumstances, ECNs may offer volume discounts that will reduce the access fees typically paid by BlackRock. BlackRock will only utilize ECNs consistent with its obligation to seek to obtain best execution in client transactions.
BlackRock has adopted policies and procedures designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing proxy voting decisions that it makes on behalf of advisory clients, including the Fund, and to help ensure that such decisions are made in accordance with BlackRock's fiduciary obligations to its clients. Nevertheless, notwithstanding such proxy voting policies and procedures, actual proxy voting decisions of BlackRock may have the effect of favoring the interests of other clients or businesses of other divisions or units of BlackRock and/or its Affiliates, provided that BlackRock believes such voting decisions to be in accordance with its fiduciary obligations. For a more detailed discussion of these policies and procedures, see the Proxy Voting Policy section of this SAI.
It is also possible that, from time to time, BlackRock or its Affiliates may, subject to compliance with applicable law, purchase and hold shares of the Fund. Increasing the Fund's assets may enhance liquidity, investment flexibility and diversification and may contribute to economies of scale that tend to reduce the Fund's expense ratio. BlackRock and its Affiliates reserve the right, subject to compliance with applicable law, to sell or redeem at any time some or all of the shares of the Fund acquired for their own accounts. A large sale or redemption of shares of the Fund by BlackRock or its Affiliates could significantly reduce the asset size of the Fund, which might have an adverse effect on the Fund's liquidity, investment flexibility, portfolio diversification and expense ratio. BlackRock will consider the effect of redemptions on the Fund and other shareholders in deciding whether to redeem its shares.
It is possible that the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has or is trying to develop investment banking relationships as well as securities of entities in which BlackRock or its Affiliates has significant debt or equity investments or in which an Affiliate makes a market. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies to which an
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Affiliate provides or may someday provide research coverage. Such investments could cause conflicts between the interests of the Fund and the interests of BlackRock, other clients of BlackRock or its Affiliates. In making investment decisions for the Fund, BlackRock is not permitted to obtain or use material non-public information acquired by any division, department or Affiliate of BlackRock in the course of these activities. In addition, from time to time, the activities of an Affiliate may limit the Fund's flexibility in purchases and sales of securities. When an Affiliate is engaged in an underwriting or other distribution of securities of an entity, BlackRock may be prohibited from purchasing or recommending the purchase of certain securities of that entity for the Fund. As indicated below, BlackRock or its Affiliates may engage in transactions with companies in which BlackRock-advised funds or other clients of BlackRock or of an Affiliate have an investment.
BlackRock and Chubb Limited (“Chubb”), a public company whose securities are held by BlackRock-advised funds and other accounts, partially funded the creation of a re-insurance company (“Re Co”) pursuant to which each has approximately a 9.9% ownership interest and each has representation on the board of directors. Certain employees and executives of BlackRock have a less than ½ of 1% ownership interest in Re Co. BlackRock manages the investment portfolio of Re Co, which is held in a wholly-owned subsidiary. Re Co participates as a reinsurer with reinsurance contracts underwritten by subsidiaries of Chubb. An independent director of certain BlackRock-advised funds also serves as an independent director of Chubb and has no interest or involvement in the Re Co transaction.
BlackRock and its Affiliates, their personnel and other financial service providers may have interests in promoting sales of the Fund. With respect to BlackRock and its Affiliates and their personnel, the remuneration and profitability relating to services to and sales of the Fund or other products may be greater than remuneration and profitability relating to services to and sales of certain funds or other products that might be provided or offered. BlackRock and its Affiliates and their sales personnel may directly or indirectly receive a portion of the fees and commissions charged to the Fund or its shareholders. BlackRock and its advisory or other personnel may also benefit from increased amounts of assets under management. Fees and commissions may also be higher than for other products or services, and the remuneration and profitability to BlackRock or its Affiliates and such personnel resulting from transactions on behalf of or management of the Fund may be greater than the remuneration and profitability resulting from other funds or products.
BlackRock and its Affiliates and their personnel may receive greater compensation or greater profit in connection with an account for which BlackRock serves as an adviser than with an account advised by an unaffiliated investment adviser. Differentials in compensation may be related to the fact that BlackRock may pay a portion of its advisory fee to its Affiliate, or relate to compensation arrangements, including for portfolio management, brokerage transactions or account servicing. Any differential in compensation may create a financial incentive on the part of BlackRock or its Affiliates and their personnel to recommend BlackRock over unaffiliated investment advisers or to effect transactions differently in one account over another.
Third parties, including service providers to BFA or the Fund, may sponsor events (including, but not limited to, marketing and promotional activities and presentations, educational training programs and conferences) for registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors. There is a potential conflict of interest as such sponsorships may defray the costs of such activities to BFA, and may provide an incentive to BFA to retain such third parties to provide services to the Fund.
BlackRock and its Affiliates may provide valuation assistance to certain clients with respect to certain securities or other investments and the valuation recommendations made for their clients' accounts may differ from the valuations for the same securities or investments assigned by the Fund's pricing vendors, especially if such valuations are based on broker-dealer quotes or other data sources unavailable to the Fund's pricing vendors. While BlackRock will generally communicate its valuation information or determinations to the Fund's pricing vendors and/or fund accountants, there may be instances where the Fund's pricing vendors or fund accountants assign a different valuation to a security or other investment than the valuation for such security or investment determined or recommended by BlackRock.
As disclosed in more detail in the Determination of Net Asset Value section of the Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI, when market valuations are not readily available or such valuations do not reflect current market values, the affected investments will be valued using fair value pricing, pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board. When determining an asset’s “fair value,” the BlackRock Valuation Committee (or BlackRock’s Pricing Group) seeks to determine the price that the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset in an arm’s-length transaction on the date on which the assets or liabilities are being valued and does not seek to determine the price that the Fund might expect to receive for selling the asset, or the cost of extinguishing a liability, at a later time or if it holds the asset or liability to maturity. While fair value determinations will be based upon all available factors that BlackRock’s Pricing Group deems relevant at the time of the
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determination, and may be based on analytical values determined by BlackRock using proprietary or third-party valuation models, fair value represents only a good faith approximation of the value of a security. The fair value of one or more securities may not, in retrospect, be the price at which those assets could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used in determining the Fund’s net asset value. As a result, the Fund’s sale or redemption of its shares at net asset value, at a time when a holding or holdings are valued by BlackRock (pursuant to Board-adopted procedures) at fair value, may have the effect of diluting or increasing the economic interest of existing shareholders and BlackRock receiving additional revenue.
To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Fund may invest all or some of its short-term cash investments in any money market fund or similarly-managed private fund advised or managed by BlackRock. In connection with any such investments, the Fund, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, may pay its share of expenses of a money market fund in which it invests, which may result in the Fund bearing some additional expenses.
BlackRock and its Affiliates and their directors, officers and employees, may buy and sell securities or other investments for their own accounts and may have conflicts of interest with respect to investments made on behalf of the Fund. As a result of differing trading and investment strategies or constraints, positions may be taken by directors, officers, employees and Affiliates of BlackRock that are the same, different from or made at different times than positions taken for the Fund. To lessen the possibility that the Fund will be adversely affected by this personal trading, the Fund, BFA and BlackRock have adopted a code of ethics in compliance with Section 17(j) of the 1940 Act that restricts securities trading in the personal accounts of investment professionals and others who normally come into possession of information regarding the Fund's portfolio transactions. Each code of ethics can be reviewed and copied at the SEC's Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. Each code of ethics is also available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC's Internet site at http://www.sec.gov, and copies may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by e-mail at publicinfo@sec.gov or by writing the SEC's Public Reference Section, Washington, DC 20549-1520.
BlackRock and its Affiliates will not purchase securities or other property from, or sell securities or other property to, the Fund, except that the Fund may in accordance with rules adopted under the 1940 Act engage in transactions with accounts that are affiliated with the Fund as a result of common officers, directors, or investment advisers or pursuant to exemptive orders granted to the Fund and/or BlackRock by the SEC. These transactions would be effected in circumstances in which BlackRock determined that it would be appropriate for the Fund to purchase and another client of BlackRock to sell, or the Fund to sell and another client of BlackRock to purchase, the same security or instrument on the same day. From time to time, the activities of the Fund may be restricted because of regulatory requirements applicable to BlackRock or its Affiliates and/or BlackRock's internal policies designed to comply with, limit the applicability of, or otherwise relate to such requirements. A client not advised by BlackRock would not be subject to some of those considerations. There may be periods when BlackRock may not initiate or recommend certain types of transactions, or may otherwise restrict or limit their advice in certain securities or instruments issued by or related to companies for which an Affiliate is performing investment banking, market making or other services or has proprietary positions. For example, when an Affiliate is engaged in an underwriting or other distribution of securities of, or advisory services for, a company, the Fund may be prohibited from or limited in purchasing or selling securities of that company. Similar situations could arise if personnel of BlackRock or its Affiliates serve as directors of companies the securities of which the Fund wishes to purchase or sell. However, if permitted by applicable law, the Fund may purchase securities or instruments that are issued by such companies or are the subject of an underwriting or distribution or advisory assignment or other services provided by an Affiliate, or in cases in which personnel of BlackRock or its Affiliates are directors or officers of the issuer.
The investment activities of one or more Affiliates for their proprietary accounts and for client accounts may also limit the investment strategies and rights of the Fund. For example, in certain regulated industries, in certain emerging or international markets, in corporate and regulatory ownership definitions, and in certain futures and derivative transactions, there may be limits on the aggregate amount of investment by affiliated investors that may not be exceeded without the grant of a license or other regulatory or corporate consent or, if exceeded, may cause BlackRock, the Fund or other client accounts to suffer disadvantages or business restrictions.
If certain aggregate ownership thresholds are reached or certain transactions undertaken, the ability of BlackRock on behalf of clients (including the Fund) to purchase or dispose of investments, or exercise rights or undertake business transactions, may be restricted by regulation or otherwise impaired. As a result, BlackRock, on behalf of clients (including the Fund), may limit purchases, sell existing investments, or otherwise restrict or limit the exercise of rights (including voting rights) when
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BlackRock, in its sole discretion, deems it appropriate in light of potential regulatory or other restrictions on ownership or other consequences resulting from reaching investment thresholds.
In those circumstances where ownership thresholds or limitations must be observed, BlackRock seeks to allocate limited investment opportunities equitably among clients (including the Fund), taking into consideration benchmark weight and investment strategy. When ownership in certain securities nears an applicable threshold, BlackRock may limit purchases in such securities to the issuer's weighting in the applicable benchmark used by BlackRock to manage the Fund. If client (including Fund) holdings of an issuer exceed an applicable threshold and BlackRock is unable to obtain relief to enable the continued holding of such investments, it may be necessary to sell down these positions to meet the applicable limitations. In these cases, benchmark overweight positions will be sold prior to benchmark positions being reduced to meet applicable limitations.
In addition to the foregoing, other ownership thresholds may trigger reporting requirements to governmental and regulatory authorities, and such reports may entail the disclosure of the identity of a client or BlackRock’s intended strategy with respect to such security or asset.
To the extent permitted by applicable laws, BlackRock and its Affiliates may maintain securities indexes as part of their product offerings. Index based funds seek to track the performance of securities indexes and may use the name of the index in the fund name. Index providers, including BlackRock and its Affiliates may be paid licensing fees for use of their index or index name. BlackRock and its Affiliates will not be obligated to license their indexes to BlackRock, and BlackRock cannot be assured that the terms of any index licensing agreement with BlackRock and its Affiliates will be as favorable as those terms offered to other index licensees.
BlackRock and its Affiliates may not serve as Authorized Participants in the creation and redemption of iShares ETFs, but may serve as authorized participants of third-party ETFs.
BlackRock may enter into contractual arrangements with third-party service providers to the Fund (e.g., custodians and administrators) pursuant to which BlackRock receives fee discounts or concessions in recognition of BlackRock’s overall relationship with such service providers. To the extent that BlackRock is responsible for paying these service providers out of its management fee, the benefits of any such fee discounts or concessions may accrue, in whole or in part, to BlackRock. BlackRock will disclose any material benefits it receives as a result of such fee discounts or concessions to the Board.
BlackRock or its Affiliates own or have an ownership interest in certain trading, portfolio management, operations and/or information systems used by Fund service providers. These systems are, or will be, used by a Fund service provider in connection with the provision of services to accounts managed by BlackRock and funds managed and sponsored by BlackRock, including the Fund, that engage the service provider (typically the custodian). The Fund’s service provider remunerates BlackRock or its Affiliates for the use of the systems. The Fund service provider’s payments to BlackRock or its Affiliates for the use of these systems may enhance the profitability of BlackRock and its Affiliates. BlackRock’s or its Affiliates’ receipt of fees from a service provider in connection with the use of systems provided by BlackRock or its Affiliates may create an incentive for BlackRock to recommend that the Fund enter into or renew an arrangement with the service provider.
Present and future activities of BlackRock and its Affiliates, including BFA, in addition to those described in this section, may give rise to additional conflicts of interest.
Investment Advisory, Administrative and Distribution Services
Investment Adviser.  BFA serves as investment adviser to the Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and BFA. BFA is a California corporation indirectly owned by BlackRock, Inc. and is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Under the investment advisory agreement, BFA, subject to the supervision of the Board and in conformity with the stated investment policies of the Fund, manages and administers the Trust and the investment of the Fund’s assets. BFA is responsible for placing purchase and sale orders and providing continuous supervision of the investment portfolio of the Fund.
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Pursuant to the investment advisory agreement, BFA may, from time to time, in its sole discretion and to the extent permitted by applicable law, appoint one or more sub-advisers, including, without limitation, affiliates of BFA, to perform investment advisory or other services with respect to the Fund. In addition, BFA may delegate certain of its investment advisory functions under the investment advisory agreement to one or more of its affiliates to the extent permitted by applicable law. BFA may terminate any or all sub-advisers or such delegation arrangements in its sole discretion upon appropriate notice at any time to the extent permitted by applicable law.
BFA is responsible, under the investment advisory agreement, for substantially all expenses of the Fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services. BFA is not responsible for, and the Fund will bear the cost of, interest expense, taxes, brokerage expenses and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio securities transactions, future distribution fees and extraordinary expenses.
For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA will be paid a management fee from the Fund, based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of ____%.
The investment advisory agreement with respect to the Fund continues in effect for two years from its effective date, and thereafter is subject to annual approval by (i) the Board, or (ii) the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, provided that in either event such continuance also is approved by a majority of the Board members who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, by a vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.
The investment advisory agreement with respect to the Fund is terminable without penalty, on 60 days’ notice, by the Board or by a vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act). The investment advisory agreement is also terminable upon 60 days’ notice by BFA and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
Portfolio Managers.  As of __________, the individuals named as Portfolio Managers in the Fund's Prospectus were also primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of other funds and certain other types of portfolios and/or accounts as follows:
Richard Mejzak        
Types of Accounts   Number   Total Assets
Registered Investment Companies   ____   $____
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles   ____   ____
Other Accounts   ____   ____
Accounts with Incentive-Based Fee Arrangements   ____   ____
    
Scott Radell        
Types of Accounts   Number   Total Assets
Registered Investment Companies   ____   $____
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles   ____   ____
Other Accounts   ____   ____
Accounts with Incentive-Based Fee Arrangements   ____   ____
Pursuant to BFA’s policy, investment opportunities are allocated equitably among the Fund and other portfolios and accounts. For example, under certain circumstances, an investment opportunity may be restricted due to limited supply in the market, legal constraints or other factors, in which event the investment opportunity will be allocated equitably among those portfolios and accounts, including the Fund, seeking such investment opportunity. As a consequence, from time to time the Fund may receive a smaller allocation of an investment opportunity than it would have if the Portfolio Managers and BFA and its Affiliates did not manage other portfolios or accounts.
Like the Fund, the other portfolios or accounts for which the Portfolio Managers are primarily responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management generally pay an asset-based fee to BFA or its Affiliates, as applicable, for its advisory services. One or more of those other portfolios or accounts, however, may pay BFA or its Affiliates an incentive-based fee in lieu of, or in addition to, an asset-based fee for its advisory services. A portfolio or account with an incentive-based fee would pay BFA or
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its Affiliates a portion of that portfolio’s or account’s gains, or would pay BFA or its Affiliates more for its services than would otherwise be the case if BFA or any of its Affiliates meets or exceeds specified performance targets. Incentive-based fee arrangements could present an incentive for BFA or its Affiliates to devote greater resources, and allocate more investment opportunities, to the portfolios or accounts that have those fee arrangements, relative to other portfolios or accounts, in order to earn larger fees. Although BFA and each of its Affiliates have an obligation to allocate resources and opportunities equitably among portfolios and accounts and intend to do so, shareholders of the Fund should be aware that, as with any group of portfolios and accounts managed by an investment adviser and/or its affiliates pursuant to varying fee arrangements, including incentive-based fee arrangements, there is the potential for a conflict of interest that may result in the Portfolio Managers favoring those portfolios or accounts with incentive-based fee arrangements.
The tables below show, for each Portfolio Manager, the number of portfolios or accounts of the types set forth in the above tables and the aggregate of total assets in those portfolios or accounts with respect to which the investment management fees are based on the performance of those portfolios or accounts as of _________:
Richard Mejzak
Types of Accounts   Number of Other
Accounts with
Performance-Based
Fees Managed by Portfolio Manager
  Aggregate
of Total Assets
Registered Investment Companies   ____   $____
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles   ____   ____
Other Accounts   ____   ____
    
Scott Radell        
Types of Accounts   Number of Other
Accounts with
Performance-Based
Fees Managed by Portfolio Manager
  Aggregate
of Total Assets
Registered Investment Companies   ____   $____
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles   ____   ____
Other Accounts   ____   ____
The discussion below describes the Portfolio Managers' compensation as of __________.
Portfolio Manager Compensation Overview
BlackRock, Inc.'s financial arrangements with its portfolio managers, its competitive compensation and its career path emphasis at all levels reflect the value senior management places on key resources. Compensation may include a variety of components and may vary from year to year based on a number of factors. The principal components of compensation include a base salary, a performance-based discretionary bonus, participation in various benefits programs and one or more of the incentive compensation programs established by BlackRock, Inc.
Base compensation. Generally, portfolio managers receive base compensation based on their position with the firm.
Discretionary Incentive Compensation. Discretionary incentive compensation is a function of several components: the performance of BlackRock, Inc., the performance of the portfolio manager's group within BlackRock, Inc. and the individual's performance and contribution to the overall performance of these portfolios and BlackRock, Inc.
Distribution of Discretionary Incentive Compensation. Discretionary incentive compensation is distributed to portfolio managers in a combination of cash and BlackRock, Inc. restricted stock units which vest ratably over a number of years. The BlackRock, Inc. restricted stock units, if properly vested, will be settled in BlackRock, Inc. common stock. Typically, the cash bonus, when combined with base salary, represents more than 60% of total compensation for the portfolio managers. Paying a portion of annual bonuses in stock puts compensation earned by a portfolio manager for a given year “at risk” based on BlackRock, Inc.'s ability to sustain and improve its performance over future periods.
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Long-Term Incentive Plan Awards — From time to time, long-term incentive equity awards are granted to certain key employees to aid in retention, align their interests with long-term shareholder interests and motivate performance. Equity awards are generally granted in the form of BlackRock, Inc. restricted stock units that, once vested, settle in BlackRock, Inc. common stock.
Other Compensation Benefits. In addition to base compensation and discretionary incentive compensation, portfolio managers may be eligible to receive or participate in one or more of the following:
Incentive Savings Plans — BlackRock, Inc. has created a variety of incentive savings plans in which BlackRock, Inc. employees are eligible to participate, including a 401(k) plan, the BlackRock Retirement Savings Plan (“RSP”), and the BlackRock Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”). The employer contribution components of the RSP include a company match equal to 50% of the first 8% of eligible pay contributed to the plan capped at $5,000 per year, and a company retirement contribution equal to 3-5% of eligible compensation up to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) limit ($265,000 for 2015). The RSP offers a range of investment options, including registered investment companies and collective investment funds managed by the firm. BlackRock, Inc. contributions follow the investment direction set by participants for their own contributions or, absent participant investment direction, are invested into an index target date fund that corresponds to, or is closest to, the year in which the participant attains age 65. The ESPP allows for investment in BlackRock, Inc. common stock at a 5% discount on the fair market value of the stock on the purchase date. Annual participation in the ESPP is limited to the purchase of 1,000 shares of common stock or a dollar value of $25,000 based on its fair market value on the Purchase Date. Richard Mejzak and Scott Radell are each eligible to participate in these plans.
As of _________, the Portfolio Managers did not beneficially own shares of the Fund.
Codes of Ethics.  The Trust, BFA and the Distributor have adopted codes of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. The codes of ethics permit personnel subject to the codes of ethics to invest in securities, subject to certain limitations, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund. The codes of ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.
Anti-Money Laundering Requirements.  The Fund is subject to the USA PATRIOT Act (the “Patriot Act”). The Patriot Act is intended to prevent the use of the U.S. financial system in furtherance of money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities. Pursuant to requirements under the Patriot Act, the Fund may request information from Authorized Participants to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its Authorized Participants. This information will be used to verify the identity of Authorized Participants or, in some cases, the status of financial professionals; it will be used only for compliance with the requirements of the Patriot Act.
The Fund reserves the right to reject purchase orders from persons who have not submitted information sufficient to allow the Fund to verify their identity. The Fund also reserves the right to redeem any amounts in the Fund from persons whose identity it is unable to verify on a timely basis. It is the Fund's policy to cooperate fully with appropriate regulators in any investigations conducted with respect to potential money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities.
Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent.  State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) serves as administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund under the Master Services Agreement and related Service Schedule (the “Service Module”). State Street’s principal address is 1 Iron Street, Boston, MA 02210. Pursuant to the Service Module for Fund Administration and Accounting Services with the Trust, State Street provides necessary administrative, legal, tax and accounting and financial reporting services for the maintenance and operations of the Trust and the Fund. In addition, State Street makes available the office space, equipment, personnel and facilities required to provide such services. Pursuant to the Service Module for Custodial Services with the Trust, State Street maintains, in separate accounts, cash, securities and other assets of the Trust and the Fund, keeps all necessary accounts and records and provides other services. State Street is required, upon the order of the Trust, to deliver securities held by State Street and to make payments for securities purchased by the Trust for the Fund. State Street is authorized to appoint certain foreign custodians or foreign custody managers for Fund investments outside the United States. Pursuant to the Service Module for Transfer Agency Services with the Trust, State Street acts as a transfer agent for the Fund’s authorized and issued shares of beneficial interest, and as dividend disbursing agent of the Trust. As compensation for these services, State Street receives certain out-of-pocket costs, transaction fees and asset-based fees which are accrued daily and paid monthly by BFA from its management fee.
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Distributor.  The Distributor's principal address is 1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Fund through the Distributor or its agent only in Creation Units, as described in the Prospectus and below in the Creation and Redemption of Creation Units section of this SAI. Fund shares in amounts less than Creation Units are generally not distributed by the Distributor or its agent. The Distributor or its agent will arrange for the delivery of the Prospectus and, upon request, this SAI to persons purchasing Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it or its agents and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it or its agents. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). The Distributor is also licensed as a broker-dealer in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
The Distribution Agreement for the Fund provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, on at least 60 days' prior written notice to the other party following (i) the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees, or (ii) the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of Fund shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Authorized Participants (as described below), Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) participants and/or investor services organizations.
BFA or its Affiliates may, from time to time and from its own resources, pay, defray or absorb costs relating to distribution, including payments out of its own resources to the Distributor, or to otherwise promote the sale of shares.
Payments by BFA and its Affiliates.  BFA and/or its Affiliates (“BFA Entities”) pay certain broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, banks, exchanges and other financial intermediaries (“Intermediaries”) for certain activities related to the Fund, other affiliated funds or exchange-traded products in general. BFA Entities make these payments from their own assets and not from the assets of the Fund. Although a portion of BFA Entities’ revenue comes directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the Fund and other affiliated funds, these payments do not increase the price paid by investors for the purchase of shares of, or the cost of owning, the Fund or other affiliated funds. BFA Entities make payments for Intermediaries’ participation in activities that are designed to make registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors more knowledgeable about exchange-traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems (“Education Costs”). BFA Entities also make payments to Intermediaries for certain printing, publishing and mailing costs associated with the Fund or materials relating to exchange-traded products in general (“Publishing Costs”). In addition, BFA Entities make payments to Intermediaries that make shares of the Fund and certain other affiliated funds available to their clients, develop new products that feature affiliated funds or otherwise promote the Fund and other affiliated funds. BFA Entities may also reimburse expenses or make payments from their own assets to Intermediaries or other persons in consideration of services or other activities that the BFA Entities believe may benefit BlackRock's ETF business or facilitate investment in affiliated funds. Payments of the type described above are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments.
Payments to an Intermediary may be significant to the Intermediary, and amounts that Intermediaries pay to your salesperson or other investment professional may also be significant for your salesperson or other investment professional. Because an Intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it will recommend or make available to its clients or what services to provide for various products based on payments it receives or is eligible to receive, such payments may create conflicts of interest between the Intermediary and its clients and these financial incentives may cause the Intermediary to recommend the Fund and other affiliated funds over other investments. The same conflicts of interest and financial incentives exist with respect to your salesperson or other investment professional if he or she receives similar payments from his or her Intermediary firm.
BFA Entities have contractual arrangements to make payments (in addition to payments for Education Costs or Publishing Costs) to one Intermediary, Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (“FBS”). Pursuant to this special, long-term and significant arrangement (the “Marketing Program”), FBS and certain affiliates (collectively “Fidelity”) have agreed, among other things, to actively promote affiliated funds to customers and investment professionals and in advertising campaigns as the preferred exchange-traded product, to offer certain affiliated funds in certain Fidelity platforms and investment programs, in some cases at a reduced commission rate or commission free, and to provide marketing data to BFA Entities. BFA Entities have agreed to facilitate the Marketing Program by, among other things, making certain payments to FBS for marketing and
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implementing certain brokerage and investment programs. Upon termination of the arrangement, the BFA Entities will make additional payments to FBS based upon a number of criteria, including the overall success of the Marketing Program and the level of services provided by FBS during the wind-down period.
Any additions, modifications, or deletions to Intermediaries listed above that have occurred since the date noted above are not included in the list. Further, BFA Entities make Education Costs and Publishing Costs payments to other Intermediaries that are not listed above. BFA Entities may determine to make such payments based on any number of metrics. For example, BFA Entities may make payments at year-end or other intervals in a fixed amount, an amount based upon an Intermediary’s services at defined levels or an amount based on the Intermediary’s net sales of one or more affiliated funds in a year or other period, any of which arrangements may include an agreed-upon minimum or maximum payment, or any combination of the foregoing. As of the date of this SAI, BFA anticipates that the payments paid by BFA Entities in connection with the Fund, BlackRock's ETFs and exchange-traded products in general will be immaterial to BFA Entities in the aggregate for the next year. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her Intermediary firm may receive. Any payments made by the BFA Entities to an Intermediary may create the incentive for an Intermediary to encourage customers to buy shares of BlackRock's ETFs.
The Fund may participate in certain market maker incentive programs of a national securities exchange in which an affiliate of the Fund would pay a fee to the exchange used for the purpose of incentivizing one or more market makers in the securities of the Fund to enhance the liquidity and quality of the secondary market of securities of the Fund. The fee would then be credited by the exchange to one or more market makers that meet or exceed liquidity and market quality standards with respect to the securities of the Fund. Each market maker incentive program is subject to approval from the SEC. Any such fee payments made to an exchange will be made by an affiliate of the Fund solely for the benefit of the Fund and will not be paid from any Fund assets. Certain other funds managed by BFA may also participate in such programs.
Determination of Net Asset Value
Valuation of Shares. The NAV for the Fund is generally calculated as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on each business day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open. Valuation of securities held by the Fund is as follows:
Underlying Funds. Shares of the Underlying Funds normally will be valued at fair value based on their net asset value from the prior business day.
Fixed-Income Investments. Fixed-income securities normally will be valued based on current market quotations as of 12:00 p.m., Eastern time. Fixed-income securities for which market quotations are readily available are generally valued using such securities’ current market value. The Fund values fixed-income portfolio securities using the last available bid prices or current market quotations provided by dealers or prices (including evaluated prices) supplied by the Fund’s approved independent third-party pricing services, each in accordance with the Valuation Procedures. The pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values, including transaction data (e.g., recent representative bids and offers), credit quality information, perceived market movements, news, and other relevant information and by other methods, which may include consideration of: yields or prices of securities of comparable quality, coupon, maturity and type; indications as to values from dealers; general market conditions; and/or other factors and assumptions. Pricing services generally value fixed-income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes. Odd lots often trade at lower prices than institutional round lots. The amortized cost method of valuation may be used with respect to debt obligations with sixty days or less remaining to maturity unless BlackRock determines in good faith that such method does not represent fair value. Loan participation notes are generally valued at the mean of the last available bid prices from one or more brokers or dealers as obtained from independent third-party pricing services. Certain fixed-income investments may be valued based on valuation models that consider the estimated cash flows of each tranche of the entity, establish a benchmark yield and develop an estimated tranche-specific spread to the benchmark yield based on the unique attributes of the tranche.
General Valuation Information. The price the Fund could receive upon the sale of any particular portfolio investment may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the investment, particularly for securities that trade in thin or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair valuation methodology or a price provided by an independent pricing service. As a result, the price received upon the sale of an investment may be less than the value ascribed by the Fund, and the Fund could realize a greater
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than expected loss or lesser than expected gain upon the sale of the investment. The Fund’s ability to value its investment may also be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.
All cash, receivables and current payables are carried on the Fund’s books at their face value.
Prices obtained from independent third-party pricing services, broker-dealers or market makers to value the Fund’s securities and other assets and liabilities are based on information available at the time the Fund values its assets and liabilities. In the event that a pricing service quotation is revised or updated subsequent to the day on which the Fund valued such security or other asset or liability, the revised pricing service quotation generally will be applied prospectively. Such determination will be made considering pertinent facts and circumstances surrounding the revision.
In the event that application of the methods of valuation discussed above result in a price for a security which is deemed not to be representative of the fair market value of such security, the security will be valued by, under the direction of or in accordance with a method approved by the Board as reflecting fair value. All other assets and liabilities (including securities for which market quotations are not readily available) held by the Fund (including restricted securities) are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by the Board or by BlackRock (its delegate) pursuant to the Valuation Procedures. Any assets and liabilities that are denominated in a foreign currency are converted into U.S. dollars using prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers.
Certain of the securities acquired by the Fund may be traded on foreign exchanges or OTC markets on days on which the Fund’s net asset value is not calculated. In such cases, the net asset value of the Fund’s shares may be significantly affected on days when Authorized Participants can neither purchase nor redeem shares of the Fund.
Fair Value. When market quotations are not readily available or are believed in good faith by BlackRock to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value (“Fair Value Assets”). Fair Value Assets are valued by BlackRock in accordance with the Valuation Procedures. BlackRock may reasonably conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if, among other things, a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its complete lack of trading, if BlackRock believes in good faith that a market quotation from a broker-dealer or other source is unreliable (e.g., where it varies significantly from a recent trade, or no longer reflects the fair value of the security or other asset or liability subsequent to the most recent market quotation), or where the security or other asset or liability is only thinly traded or due to the occurrence of a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. For this purpose, a “significant event” is deemed to occur if BlackRock determines, in its reasonable business judgment, that an event has occurred after the close of trading for an asset or liability but prior to or at the time of pricing the Fund’s assets or liabilities, and that the event is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the assets or liabilities held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in the markets or in related or highly correlated assets (e.g., American Depositary Receipts, Global Depositary Receipts or ETFs) on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued. On any day the NYSE is open and a foreign market or the primary exchange on which a foreign asset or liability is traded is closed, such asset or liability will be valued using the prior day’s price, provided that BlackRock is not aware of any significant event or other information that would cause such price to no longer reflect the fair value of the asset or liability, in which case such asset or liability would be treated as a Fair Value Asset.
BlackRock, with input from the BlackRock Investment Strategy Group, will submit its recommendations regarding the valuation and/or valuation methodologies for Fair Value Assets to BlackRock’s Valuation Committee. The BlackRock Valuation Committee may accept, modify or reject any recommendations. In addition, the Fund’s accounting agent periodically endeavors to confirm the prices it receives from all third-party pricing services, index providers and broker-dealers, and, with the assistance of BlackRock, to regularly evaluate the values assigned to the securities and other assets and liabilities of the Fund. The pricing of all Fair Value Assets is subsequently reported to and, where appropriate, ratified by the Board.
When determining the price for a Fair Value Asset, the BlackRock Valuation Committee (or BlackRock’s Pricing Group) will seek to determine the price that the Fund might reasonably expect to receive upon the current sale of that asset or liability in an arm’s-length transaction on the date on which the assets or liabilities are being valued, and does not seek to determine the price that the Fund might expect to receive for selling the asset, or the cost of extinguishing a liability, at a later time or if it holds the asset or liability to maturity. Fair value determinations will be based upon all available factors that the BlackRock Valuation Committee (or BlackRock’s Pricing Group) deems relevant at the time of the determination, and may be based on analytical values determined by BlackRock using proprietary or third-party valuation models.
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Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. When determining the fair value of an asset, one or more of a variety of fair valuation methodologies may be used (depending on certain factors, including the asset type). For example, the asset may be priced on the basis of the original cost of the investment or, alternatively, using proprietary or third-party models (including models that rely upon direct portfolio management pricing inputs and which reflect the significance attributed to the various factors and assumptions being considered). Prices of actual, executed or historical transactions in the relevant asset and/or liability (or related or comparable assets and/or liabilities) or, where appropriate, an appraisal by a third-party experienced in the valuation of similar assets and/or liabilities, may also be used as a basis for establishing the fair value of an asset or liability. The fair value of one or more assets or liabilities may not, in retrospect, be the price at which those assets or liabilities could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used in determining the Fund’s net asset value. As a result, the Fund’s sale or redemption of its shares at net asset value, at a time when a holding or holdings are valued at fair value, may have the effect of diluting or increasing the economic interest of existing shareholders.
The Fund’s annual audited financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“US GAAP”), follow the requirements for valuation set forth in Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 820, “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures” (“ASC 820”), which defines and establishes a framework for measuring fair value under US GAAP and expands financial statement disclosure requirements relating to fair value measurements. Generally, ASC 820 and other accounting rules applicable to funds and various assets in which they invest are evolving. Such changes may adversely affect the Fund. For example, the evolution of rules governing the determination of the fair market value of assets or liabilities to the extent such rules become more stringent would tend to increase the cost and/or reduce the availability of third-party determinations of fair market value.
Brokerage Transactions
Subject to policies established by the Board, BFA is primarily responsible for the execution of the Fund’s portfolio transactions and the allocation of brokerage. BFA does not execute transactions through any particular broker or dealer, but seeks to obtain the best net results for the Fund, taking into account such factors as price (including the applicable brokerage commission or dealer spread), size of order, difficulty of execution, operational facilities of the firm and the firm’s risk and skill in positioning blocks of securities. While BFA generally seeks reasonable trade execution costs, the Fund does not necessarily pay the lowest spread or commission available, and payment of the lowest commission or spread is not necessarily consistent with obtaining the best price and execution in particular transactions. Subject to applicable legal requirements, BFA may select a broker based partly upon brokerage or research services provided to BFA and its clients, including the Fund. In return for such services, BFA may cause the Fund to pay a higher commission than other brokers would charge if BFA determines in good faith that the commission is reasonable in relation to the services provided.
In selecting brokers or dealers to execute portfolio transactions, BFA seeks to obtain the best price and most favorable execution for the Fund and may take into account a variety of factors including: (i) the size, nature and character of the security or instrument being traded and the markets in which it is purchased or sold; (ii) the desired timing of the transaction; (iii) BFA’s knowledge of the expected commission rates and spreads currently available; (iv) the activity existing and expected in the market for the particular security or instrument, including any anticipated execution difficulties; (v) the full range of brokerage services provided; (vi) the broker’s or dealer’s capital; (vii) the quality of research and research services provided; (viii) the reasonableness of the commission, dealer spread or its equivalent for the specific transaction; and (ix) BFA’s knowledge of any actual or apparent operational problems of a broker or dealer. Brokers may also be selected because of their ability to handle special or difficult executions, such as may be involved in large block trades, less liquid securities, or other circumstances.
Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act (“Section 28(e)”) permits an investment adviser, under certain circumstances, to cause an account to pay a broker or dealer a commission for effecting a transaction in securities that exceeds the amount another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the same transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by that broker or dealer. This includes commissions paid on riskless principal transactions in securities under certain conditions.
From time to time, the Fund may purchase new issues of securities in a fixed price offering. In these situations, the broker may be a member of the selling group that will, in addition to selling securities, provide BFA with research services. FINRA has
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adopted rules expressly permitting these types of arrangements under certain circumstances. Generally, the broker will provide research “credits” in these situations at a rate that is higher than that available for typical secondary market transactions. These arrangements may not fall within the safe harbor of Section 28(e).
OTC issues, including most fixed-income securities such as corporate debt and U.S. Government securities, are normally traded on a “net” basis without a stated commission, through dealers acting for their own account and not as brokers. The Fund will primarily engage in transactions with these dealers or deal directly with the issuer unless a better price or execution could be obtained by using a broker. Prices paid to a dealer with respect to both foreign and domestic securities will generally include a “spread,” which is the difference between the prices at which the dealer is willing to purchase and sell the specific security at the time, and includes the dealer’s normal profit.
Under the 1940 Act, persons affiliated with the Fund and persons who are affiliated with such affiliated persons are prohibited from dealing with the Fund as principal in the purchase and sale of securities unless a permissive order allowing such transactions is obtained from the SEC. Since transactions in the OTC market usually involve transactions with the dealers acting as principal for their own accounts, the Fund will not deal with affiliated persons, including PNC and its affiliates, in connection with such transactions. The Fund will not purchase securities during the existence of any underwriting or selling group relating to such securities of which BFA, PNC, BRIL or any affiliated person (as defined in the 1940 Act) thereof is a member except pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board in accordance with Rule 10f-3 under the 1940 Act.
Purchases of money market instruments by the Fund are made from dealers, underwriters and issuers. The Fund does not currently expect to incur any brokerage commission expense on such transactions because money market instruments are generally traded on a “net” basis with dealers acting as principal for their own accounts without a stated commission. The price of the security, however, usually includes a profit to the dealer.
BFA may, from time to time, effect trades on behalf of and for the account of the Fund with brokers or dealers that are affiliated with BFA, in conformity with Rule 17e-1 under the 1940 Act and SEC rules and regulations. Under these provisions, any commissions paid to affiliated brokers or dealers must be reasonable and fair compared to the commissions charged by other brokers or dealers in comparable transactions.
Securities purchased in underwritten offerings include a fixed amount of compensation to the underwriter, generally referred to as the underwriter’s concession or discount. When securities are purchased or sold directly from or to an issuer, no commissions or discounts are paid.
Investment decisions for the Fund and for other investment accounts managed by BFA and its Affiliates are made independently of each other in light of differing conditions. A variety of factors will be considered in making investment allocations. These factors include: (i) investment objectives or strategies for particular accounts, including sector, industry, country or region and capitalization weightings; (ii) tax considerations of an account; (iii) risk or investment concentration parameters for an account; (iv) supply or demand for a security at a given price level; (v) size of available investment; (vi) cash availability and liquidity requirements for accounts; (vii) regulatory restrictions; (viii) minimum investment size of an account; (ix) relative size of account; and (x) such other factors as may be approved by BlackRock’s general counsel. Moreover, investments may not be allocated to one client account over another based on any of the following considerations: (i) to favor one client account at the expense of another; (ii) to generate higher fees paid by one client account over another or to produce greater performance compensation to BlackRock; (iii) to develop or enhance a relationship with a client or prospective client; (iv) to compensate a client for past services or benefits rendered to BlackRock or to induce future services or benefits to be rendered to BlackRock; or (v) to manage or equalize investment performance among different client accounts. BFA and its Affiliates may deal, trade and invest for their own account in the types of securities in which the Fund may invest.
Initial public offerings of securities may be over-subscribed and subsequently trade at a premium in the secondary market. When BFA is given an opportunity to invest in such an initial offering or “new” or “hot” issue, the supply of securities available for client accounts is often less than the amount of securities the accounts would otherwise take. In order to allocate these investments fairly and equitably among client accounts over time, each portfolio manager or a member of his or her respective investment team will indicate to BFA’s trading desk their level of interest in a particular offering with respect to eligible clients’ accounts for which that team is responsible. Initial public offerings of U.S. equity securities will be identified as eligible for particular client accounts that are managed by portfolio teams who have indicated interest in the offering based on market capitalization of the issuer of the security and the investment mandate of the client account and in the case
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of international equity securities, the country where the offering is taking place and the investment mandate of the client account. Generally, shares received during the initial public offering will be allocated among participating client accounts within each investment mandate on a pro rata basis. This pro rata allocation may result in the Fund receiving less of a particular security than if pro-rating had not occurred. All allocations of securities will be subject, where relevant, to share minimums established for accounts and compliance constraints. In situations where supply is too limited to be allocated among all accounts for which the investment is eligible, portfolio managers may rotate such investment opportunities among one or more accounts so long as the rotation system provides for fair access for all client accounts over time. Other allocation methodologies that are considered by BFA to be fair and equitable to clients may be used as well.
Because different accounts may have differing investment objectives and policies, BFA may buy and sell the same securities at the same time for different clients based on the particular investment objective, guidelines and strategies of those accounts. For example, BFA may decide that it may be entirely appropriate for a growth fund to sell a security at the same time a value fund is buying that security. To the extent that transactions on behalf of more than one client of BFA or its Affiliates during the same period may increase the demand for securities being purchased or the supply of securities being sold, there may be an adverse effect on price. For example, sales of a security by BlackRock on behalf of one or more of its clients may decrease the market price of such security, adversely impacting other BlackRock clients that still hold the security. If purchases or sales of securities arise for consideration at or about the same time that would involve the Fund or other clients or funds for which BFA or an Affiliate act as investment manager, transactions in such securities will be made, insofar as feasible, for the respective funds and clients in a manner deemed equitable to all.
In certain instances, BFA may find it efficient for purposes of seeking to obtain best execution, to aggregate or “bunch” certain contemporaneous purchases or sale orders of its advisory accounts and advisory accounts of affiliates. In general, all contemporaneous trades for client accounts under management by the same portfolio manager or investment team will be bunched in a single order if the trader believes the bunched trade would provide each client with an opportunity to achieve a more favorable execution at a potentially lower execution cost. The costs associated with a bunched order will be shared pro rata among the clients in the bunched order. Generally, if an order for a particular portfolio manager or management team is filled at several different prices through multiple trades, all accounts participating in the order will receive the average price (except in the case of certain international markets where average pricing is not permitted). While in some cases this practice could have a detrimental effect upon the price or value of the security as far as the Fund are concerned, in other cases it could be beneficial to the Fund. Transactions effected by BFA or its Affiliates on behalf of more than one of its clients during the same period may increase the demand for securities being purchased or the supply of securities being sold, causing an adverse effect on price. The trader will give the bunched order to the broker-dealer that the trader has identified as being able to provide the best execution of the order. Orders for purchase or sale of securities will be placed within a reasonable amount of time of the order receipt and bunched orders will be kept bunched only long enough to execute the order.
The Fund's purchase and sale orders for securities may be combined with those of other investment companies, clients or accounts that BFA or its Affiliates manage or advise and for which they have brokerage placement authority. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Fund and one or more other accounts managed or advised by BFA or its Affiliates are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the Fund and the other accounts in a manner deemed equitable to all by BFA and its Affiliates. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security as far as the Fund is concerned. However, in other cases, it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower transaction costs will be beneficial to the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates may deal, trade and invest for their own account in the types of securities in which the Fund may invest. BFA and its Affiliates may, from time to time, effect trades on behalf of and for the account of the Fund with brokers or dealers that are affiliated with BFA, in conformity with the 1940 Act and SEC rules and regulations. Under these provisions, any commissions paid to affiliated brokers or dealers must be reasonable and fair compared to the commissions charged by other brokers or dealers in comparable transactions. The Fund will not deal with affiliates in principal transactions unless permitted by applicable SEC rules or regulations, or by SEC exemptive order.
Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates may result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses.
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Additional Information Concerning the Trust
Shares.  The Trust currently consists of one investment series or portfolio called a fund. The Trust issues shares of beneficial interests in the funds with no par value. The Board may designate additional funds.
Each share issued by a fund has a pro rata interest in the assets of that fund. Shares have no preemptive, exchange, subscription or conversion rights and are freely transferable. Each share is entitled to participate equally in dividends and distributions declared by the Board with respect to the relevant fund, and in the net distributable assets of such fund on liquidation.
Each share has one vote with respect to matters upon which the shareholder is entitled to vote. In any matter submitted to shareholders for a vote, the fund shall hold a separate vote, provided that shareholders of all affected funds will vote together when: (1) required by the 1940 Act, or (2) the Trustees determine that the matter affects the interests of more than one fund.
Under Delaware law, the Trust is not required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. The policy of the Trust is not to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. All shares (regardless of the fund) have noncumulative voting rights in the election of members of the Board. Under Delaware law, Trustees of the Trust may be removed by vote of the shareholders.
Following the creation of the initial Creation Unit(s) of shares of a fund and immediately prior to the commencement of trading in the fund’s shares, a holder of shares may be a “control person” of the fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. The fund cannot predict the length of time for which one or more shareholders may remain a control person of the fund.
Shareholders may make inquiries by writing to the Trust, c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC, 1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Absent an applicable exemption or other relief from the SEC or its staff, beneficial owners of more than 5% of the shares of a fund may be subject to the reporting provisions of Section 13 of the 1934 Act and the SEC’s rules promulgated thereunder. In addition, absent an applicable exemption or other relief from the SEC or its staff, officers and trustees of a fund and beneficial owners of 10% of the shares of the fund (“Insiders”) may be subject to the insider reporting, short-swing profit and short sale provisions of Section 16 of the 1934 Act and the SEC’s rules promulgated thereunder. Beneficial owners and Insiders should consult with their own legal counsel concerning their obligations under Sections 13 and 16 of the 1934 Act and existing guidance provided by the SEC staff.
Termination of the Trust or the Fund.  The Trust or the Fund may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board. In the event of a termination of the Trust or the Fund, the Board could determine to permit the shares to be redeemable in aggregations smaller than Creation Units or to be individually redeemable. In such circumstance, the Trust may make redemptions in-kind, for cash or for a combination of cash or securities.
DTC as Securities Depository for Shares of the Fund.  Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC.
DTC was created in 1973 to enable electronic movement of securities between its participants (“DTC Participants”), and NSCC was established in 1976 to provide a single settlement system for securities clearing and to serve as central counterparty for securities trades among DTC Participants. In 1999, DTC and NSCC were consolidated within DTCC and became wholly-owned subsidiaries of DTCC. The common stock of DTCC is owned by the DTC Participants, but NYSE and FINRA, through subsidiaries, hold preferred shares in DTCC that provide them with the right to elect one member each to the DTCC board of directors. Access to the DTC system is available to entities, such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies, that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (“Indirect Participants”).
Beneficial ownership of shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of shares. The laws of some jurisdictions may require that certain
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purchases of securities take physical delivery of such securities in definitive form. Such laws may impair the ability of certain investors to acquire beneficial interests in shares of the Fund.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the Depositary Agreement between the Trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the shares of the Fund held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all shares of the Trust. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in shares of the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants. DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to shares of the Trust at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost.
Creation and Redemption of Creation Units
General.  The Trust issues and sells shares of the Fund only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor or its agent, without a sales load, at a price based on the Fund's NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined below), of an order received by the Distributor or its agent in proper form. On days when the Listing Exchange or the bond markets close earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to be placed earlier in the day. The following table sets forth the number of shares of the Fund that constitute a Creation Unit for the Fund and the value of such Creation Unit as of __________:
Shares Per
Creation Unit
  Value Per
Creation
Unit (U.S.$)
______   $________
In its discretion, BFA reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of the Fund’s shares that constitute a Creation Unit. The Board reserves the right to declare a split or a consolidation in the number of shares outstanding of the Fund, and to make a corresponding change in the number of shares constituting a Creation Unit, in the event that the per share price in the secondary market rises (or declines) to an amount that falls outside the range deemed desirable by the Board.
A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is any day on which the Listing Exchange on which the Fund is listed for trading is open for business. As of the date of this SAI, the Listing Exchange observes the following holidays, as observed: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Fund Deposit.  The consideration for purchase of Creation Units of the Fund is generally cash. However, in some cases the consideration consists of an in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (Deposit Securities) and the Cash Component computed as described below. Together,
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the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to creation requests received in proper form. The Fund Deposit represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of the Fund.
The “Cash Component” is an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the shares (per Creation Unit) and the “Deposit Amount,” which is an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities, and serves to compensate for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the Deposit Amount. Payment of any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities are the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant purchasing the Creation Unit.
The Fund's current policy is to accept cash in substitution for the Deposit Securities it might otherwise accept as in-kind consideration for the purchase of Creation Units. The Fund may, at times, elect to receive Deposit Securities (i.e., the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities) and a Cash Component as consideration for the purchase of Creation Units. If the Fund elects to accept Deposit Securities, a purchaser's delivery of the Deposit Securities together with the Cash Component will constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which will represent the consideration for a Creation Unit of the Fund. Please see the Cash Purchase Method section below and the following discussion summarizing the Deposit Security method for further information on purchasing Creation Units of the Fund.
BFA makes available through the NSCC on each Business Day prior to the opening of business on the Listing Exchange, the list of names and the required number or par value of each Deposit Security and the amount of the Cash Component to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information as of the end of the previous Business Day for the Fund). Such Fund Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, to purchases of Creation Units of shares of the Fund until such time as the next-announced Fund Deposit is made available.
The identity and number or par value of the Deposit Securities change pursuant to changes in the composition of the Fund's portfolio and as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by BFA with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the component securities constituting the Fund's portfolio.
The Fund reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or that may not be eligible for transfer through DTC or the clearing process (as discussed below) or that the Authorized Participant is not able to trade due to a trading restriction. The Fund also reserves the right to permit or require a “cash in lieu” amount in certain circumstances, including circumstances in which the delivery of the Deposit Security by the Authorized Participant would be restricted under applicable securities or other local laws or in certain other situations. As noted above, Creation Units currently are available only for cash purchases.
Cash Purchase Method.  Although the Trust does not ordinarily permit partial or full cash purchases of Creation Units, when partial or full cash purchases of Creation Units are available or specified (Creation Units of the Fund are generally offered solely for cash), they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind purchases thereof. In the case of a partial or full cash purchase, the Authorized Participant must pay the cash equivalent of the Deposit Securities it would otherwise be required to provide through an in-kind purchase, plus the same Cash Component required to be paid by an in-kind purchaser.
Procedures for Creation of Creation Units.  To be eligible to place orders with the Distributor and to create a Creation Unit of the Fund, an entity must be: (i) a “Participating Party,” i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the “Clearing Process”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC, or (ii) a DTC Participant, and must have executed an agreement with the Distributor, with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Units (“Authorized Participant Agreement”) (discussed below). A Participating Party or DTC Participant who has executed an Authorized Participant Agreement is referred to as an “Authorized Participant.” All shares of the Fund, however created, will be entered on the records of DTC in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC Participant.
Role of the Authorized Participant.  Creation Units may be purchased only by or through a DTC Participant that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Distributor. Such Authorized Participant will agree, pursuant to the terms of such Authorized Participant Agreement and on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that such Authorized Participant will make available in advance of each purchase of shares an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component, once the net asset value of a Creation Unit is next determined after receipt of
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the purchase order in proper form, together with the transaction fees described below. An Authorized Participant, acting on behalf of an investor, may require the investor to enter into an agreement with such Authorized Participant with respect to certain matters, including payment of the Cash Component. Investors who are not Authorized Participants must make appropriate arrangements with an Authorized Participant. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not be a DTC Participant or may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement and that orders to purchase Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor's broker through an Authorized Participant. As a result, purchase orders placed through an Authorized Participant may result in additional charges to such investor. The Trust does not expect to enter into an Authorized Participant Agreement with more than a small number of DTC Participants. A list of current Authorized Participants may be obtained from the Distributor. The Distributor has adopted guidelines regarding Authorized Participants’ transactions in Creation Units that are made available to all Authorized Participants. These guidelines set forth the processes and standards for Authorized Participants to transact with the Distributor and its agents in connection with creation and redemption transactions. In addition, the Distributor may be appointed as the proxy of the Authorized Participant and may be granted a power of attorney under its Authorized Participant Agreement.
Placement of Creation Orders.  Fund Deposits must be delivered through the Federal Reserve System (for cash and U.S. government securities), through DTC (for corporate and municipal securities) or through a central depository account, such as with Euroclear or DTC, maintained by State Street or a sub-custodian (a “Central Depository Account”). Any portion of a Fund Deposit that may not be delivered through the Federal Reserve System or DTC must be delivered through a Central Depository Account. The Fund Deposit transfers made through DTC must be ordered by the DTC Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of the Fund generally before 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Settlement Date. Fund Deposit transfers made through the Federal Reserve System must be deposited by the participant institution in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number or amount of Deposit Securities or cash through the Federal Reserve System to the account of the Fund generally before 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Settlement Date. Fund Deposit transfers made through a Central Depository Account must be completed pursuant to the requirements established by the custodian or sub-custodian for such Central Depository Account generally before 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Settlement Date. The “Settlement Date” for all funds is generally the third business day after the Transmittal Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The amount of cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to State Street through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by State Street generally before 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Settlement Date. If the Cash Component and the Deposit Securities are not received by 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Settlement Date, the creation order may be canceled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the then current NAV of the Fund. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the third Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor, provided that the relevant Fund Deposit has been received by the Fund prior to such time.
Purchase Orders.   To initiate an order for a Creation Unit, an Authorized Participant must submit to the Distributor or its agent an irrevocable order to purchase shares of the Fund, in proper form, generally before 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on any Business Day to receive that day’s NAV. The Distributor or its agent will notify BFA and the custodian of such order. The custodian will then provide such information to any appropriate sub-custodian. Procedures and requirements governing the delivery of the Fund Deposit are set forth in the procedures handbook for Authorized Participants and may change from time to time. Investors, other than Authorized Participants, are responsible for making arrangements for a creation request to be made through an Authorized Participant. The Distributor or its agent will provide a list of current Authorized Participants upon request. Those placing orders to purchase Creation Units through an Authorized Participant should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the purchase order to the Distributor or its agent by the Cutoff Time (as defined below) on such Business Day.
The Authorized Participant must also make available on or before the contractual settlement date, by means satisfactory to the Fund, immediately available or same day funds estimated by the Fund to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after acceptance of the purchase order, together with the applicable purchase transaction fees. Any excess funds will be returned following settlement of the issue of the Creation Unit. Those placing orders should ascertain the deadline for cash transfers by contacting the operations department of the broker or depositary institution effectuating the transfer of the Cash Component. This deadline is likely to be significantly earlier than the Cutoff Time of the Fund. Investors should be aware that an Authorized Participant may require orders for purchases of shares placed with it to be in the particular form required by the individual Authorized Participant.
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The Authorized Participant is responsible for any and all expenses and costs incurred by the Fund, including any applicable cash amounts, in connection with any purchase order.
Timing of Submission of Purchase Orders.  An Authorized Participant must submit an irrevocable order to purchase shares of the Fund generally before 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on any Business Day in order to receive that day's NAV. Creation Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor or its agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement, as described below. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure, may impede the ability to reach the Distributor or its agent or an Authorized Participant. Orders to create shares of the Fund that are submitted on the Business Day immediately preceding a holiday or a day (other than a weekend) when the equity markets in the relevant non-U.S. market are closed may not be accepted. The Fund's deadline specified above for the submission of purchase orders is referred to as the Fund's “Cutoff Time.” The Distributor or its agent, in their discretion, may permit the submission of such orders and requests by or through an Authorized Participant at any time (including on days on which the Listing Exchange is not open for business) via communication through the facilities of the Distributor's or its agent's proprietary website maintained for this purpose. Purchase orders and redemption requests, if accepted by the Trust, will be processed based on the NAV next determined after such acceptance in accordance with the Fund's Cutoff Times as provided in the Authorized Participant Agreement and disclosed in this SAI.
Acceptance of Orders for Creation Units.   Subject to the conditions that (i) an irrevocable purchase order has been submitted by the Authorized Participant (either on its own or another investor's behalf) and (ii) arrangements satisfactory to the Fund are in place for payment of the Cash Component and any other cash amounts which may be due, the Fund will accept the order, subject to the Fund's right (and the right of the Distributor and BFA) to reject any order until acceptance, as set forth below.
Once the Fund has accepted an order, upon the next determination of the net asset value of the shares, the Fund will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit, against receipt of payment, at such net asset value. The Distributor or its agent will then transmit a confirmation of acceptance to the Authorized Participant that placed the order.
The Fund reserves the absolute right to reject or revoke a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor or its agent if (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s), upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of the Fund; (iii) the Deposit Securities delivered do not conform to the identity and number of shares specified, as described above; (iv) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (v) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (vi) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the discretion of the Fund or BFA, have an adverse effect on the Fund or the rights of beneficial owners; or (vii) circumstances outside the control of the Fund, the Distributor or its agent and BFA make it impracticable to process purchase orders. The Distributor or its agent shall notify a prospective purchaser of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such purchaser of its rejection of such order. The Fund, State Street, the sub-custodian and the Distributor or its agent are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall any of them incur any liability for failure to give such notification.
Issuance of a Creation Unit.   Except as provided herein, a Creation Unit will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Fund of the Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the sub-custodian has confirmed to the custodian that the securities included in the Fund Deposit (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian or sub-custodians, the Distributor or its agent and BFA shall be notified of such delivery and the Fund will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Unit. Typically, Creation Units are issued on the same Business Day a creation order is received.
To the extent contemplated by an Authorized Participant's agreement with the Distributor, the Fund will issue Creation Units to such Authorized Participant, notwithstanding the fact that the corresponding Fund Deposits have not been received in part or in whole, in reliance on the undertaking of the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by such Authorized Participant's delivery and maintenance of collateral having a value at least equal to 105% and up to 115%, which percentage BFA may change at any time, in its sole discretion, of the value of the missing Deposit Securities in accordance with the Fund's then-effective procedures. The Trust may use such cash deposit at any time to buy Deposit Securities for the Fund. The only collateral that is acceptable to the Fund is cash in U.S. dollars. Such cash collateral must be delivered no later than 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the contractual settlement date. The cash collateral posted by the Authorized Participant may be invested at the risk of the Authorized Participant, and
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income, if any, on invested cash collateral will be paid to that Authorized Participant. Information concerning the Fund's current procedures for collateralization of missing Deposit Securities is available from the Distributor or its agent. The Authorized Participant Agreement will permit the Fund to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Fund of purchasing such securities and the cash collateral including, without limitation, liability for related brokerage, borrowings and other charges.
In certain cases, Authorized Participants may create and redeem Creation Units on the same trade date and in these instances, the Fund reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis or require a representation from the Authorized Participants that the creation and redemption transactions are for separate beneficial owners. All questions as to the number of shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Fund and the Fund's determination shall be final and binding.
Costs Associated with Creation Transactions.   A standard creation transaction fee is imposed to offset the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance of Creation Units. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable Business Day. The Authorized Participant may also be required to cover certain brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, price movement and other costs and expenses related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction (up to the maximum amount shown below). Authorized Participants will also bear the costs of transferring the Deposit Securities to the Fund. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire Fund shares may be charged a fee for such services.
The following table sets forth the Fund's standard creation transaction fees and maximum additional charge (as described above):
Standard Creation
Transaction Fee
  Maximum Additional
Charge*
$___   ___%

* As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit.
Redemption of Creation Units.  Shares of the Fund may be redeemed by Authorized Participants only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor or its agent and only on a Business Day. The Fund will not redeem shares in amounts less than Creation Units. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the secondary market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of shares to constitute a Creation Unit that could be redeemed by an Authorized Participant. Beneficial owners also may sell shares in the secondary market.
The Fund generally redeems Creation Units solely for cash; however, the Fund reserves the right to distribute securities in-kind as payment for Creation Units being redeemed. Please see the Cash Redemption Method section below and the following discussion summarizing the in-kind method for further information on redeeming Creation Units of the Fund.
BFA makes available through the NSCC, prior to the opening of business on the Listing Exchange on each Business Day, the designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”), and an amount of cash (the “Cash Amount,” as described below). Such Fund Securities and the corresponding Cash Amount (each subject to possible amendment or correction) are applicable, in order to effect redemptions of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next announced composition of the Fund Securities and Cash Amount is made available. Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities that are applicable to creations of Creation Units. Procedures and requirements governing redemption transactions are set forth in the handbook for Authorized Participants and may change from time to time.
If redemptions are not paid in cash, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally consist of Fund Securities, plus the Cash Amount, which is an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the shares being redeemed, as next determined after the receipt of a redemption request in proper form, and the value of Fund Securities, less a redemption transaction fee (as described below).
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The Trust may, in its sole discretion, substitute a “cash in lieu” amount to replace any Fund Security. The Trust also reserves the right to permit or require a “cash in lieu” amount in certain circumstances, including circumstances in which: (i) the delivery of a Fund Security to the Authorized Participant would be restricted under applicable securities or other local laws; or (ii) the delivery of a Fund Security to the Authorized Participant would result in the disposition of the Fund Security by the Authorized Participant due to restrictions under applicable securities or other local laws, or in certain other situations. The amount of cash paid out in such cases will be equivalent to the value of the substituted security listed as a Fund Security. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of the shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the difference is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder. The Fund generally redeems Creation Units for cash.
Cash Redemption Method.   Although the Trust does not ordinarily permit partial or full cash redemptions of Creation Units, when partial or full cash redemptions of Creation Units are available or specified (Creation Units of the Fund are generally redeemed solely for cash), they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind redemptions thereof. In the case of partial or full cash redemption, the Authorized Participant receives the cash equivalent of the Fund Securities it would otherwise receive through an in-kind redemption, plus the same Cash Amount to be paid to an in-kind redeemer.
Costs Associated with Redemption Transactions.  A standard redemption transaction fee is imposed to offset transfer and other transaction costs that may be incurred by the Fund. The standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by an Authorized Participant on the applicable Business Day. The Authorized Participant may also be required to cover certain brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, price movement and other costs and expenses related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction (up to the maximum amount shown below). Authorized Participants will also bear the costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Fund to their account on their order. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to dispose of Fund shares may be charged a fee for such services.
The following table sets forth the Fund's standard redemption transaction fees and maximum additional charge (as described above):
Standard Redemption
Transaction Fee
  Maximum Additional
Charge*
$___   ___%

* As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive of the standard redemption transaction fee.
Placement of Redemption Orders.  Redemption requests for Creation Units of the Fund must be submitted to the Distributor by or through an Authorized Participant. An Authorized Participant must submit an irrevocable request to redeem shares of the Fund generally before 12:00 p.m., Eastern time on any Business Day in order to receive that day's NAV. On days when the Listing Exchange closes earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to redeem Creation Units to be placed earlier that day. Investors, other than Authorized Participants, are responsible for making arrangements for a redemption request to be made through an Authorized Participant. The Distributor or its agent will provide a list of current Authorized Participants upon request.
The Authorized Participant must transmit the request for redemption in the form required by the Fund to the Distributor or its agent in accordance with procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement and that, therefore, requests to redeem Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor's broker through an Authorized Participant who has executed an Authorized Participant Agreement. At any time, only a limited number of broker-dealers will have an Authorized Participant Agreement in effect. Investors making a redemption request should be aware that such request must be in the form specified by such Authorized Participant. Investors making a request to redeem Creation Units should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the request by an Authorized Participant and transfer of the shares to the Fund's transfer agent; such investors should allow for the additional time that may be required to effect redemptions through their banks, brokers or other financial intermediaries if such intermediaries are not Authorized Participants.
A redemption request is considered to be in “proper form” if (i) an Authorized Participant has transferred or caused to be transferred to the Fund's transfer agent the Creation Unit redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be
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effective by the Listing Exchange closing time on any Business Day; (ii) a request in form satisfactory to the Fund is received by the Distributor or its agent from the Authorized Participant on behalf of itself or another redeeming investor within the time periods specified above; and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement are properly followed. If the transfer agent does not receive the investor's shares through DTC's facilities by 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Business Day that the redemption request is received, the redemption request shall be rejected. Investors should be aware that the deadline for such transfers of shares through the DTC system may be significantly earlier than the close of business on the Listing Exchange. Those making redemption requests should ascertain the deadline applicable to transfers of shares through the DTC system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depositary institution effecting the transfer of the shares.
Upon receiving a redemption request, the Distributor or its agent shall notify the Fund and the Fund's transfer agent of such redemption request. The tender of an investor's shares for redemption and the distribution of the securities and/or cash included in the redemption payment made in respect of Creation Units redeemed will be made through DTC and the relevant Authorized Participant to the Beneficial Owner thereof as recorded on the book-entry system of DTC or the DTC Participant through which such investor holds, as the case may be, or by such other means specified by the Authorized Participant submitting the redemption request.
A redeeming Beneficial Owner or Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such Beneficial Owner must maintain appropriate security arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the portfolio securities are customarily traded, to which account such portfolio securities will be delivered.
Deliveries of redemption proceeds by the Fund generally will be made on the same Business Day a redemption request is received. The Fund reserves the right to settle redemption transactions later than T but by T+7 if necessary or appropriate under the circumstances and compliant with applicable law. Delayed settlement may occur due to a number of different reasons, including, without limitation, settlement cycles for the underlying securities, unscheduled market closings, an effort to link distribution to dividend record dates and ex-dates and newly announced holidays. For example, the redemption settlement process may be extended beyond T because of the occurrence of a holiday in the U.S. bond market that is not a holiday observed in the U.S. equity market.
To the extent contemplated by an Authorized Participant's agreement with the Distributor or its agent, in the event an Authorized Participant has submitted a redemption request in proper form but is unable to transfer all or part of the Creation Unit to be redeemed to the Fund, at or prior to 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the Listing Exchange business day of submission of such redemption request, the Distributor or its agent will accept the redemption request in reliance on the undertaking by the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing shares as soon as possible. Such undertaking shall be secured by the Authorized Participant's delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash, in U.S. dollars in immediately available funds, having a value at least equal to 105% and up to 115%, which percentage BFA may change at any time, in its sole discretion, of the value of the missing shares. Such cash collateral must be delivered no later than 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on the day of submission of such redemption request and shall be held by State Street and marked-to-market daily. The fees of State Street and any sub-custodians in respect of the delivery, maintenance and redelivery of the cash collateral shall be payable by the Authorized Participant. The cash collateral posted by the Authorized Participant may be invested at the risk of the Authorized Participant, and income, if any, on invested cash collateral will be paid to that Authorized Participant. The Authorized Participant Agreement permits the Fund to acquire shares of the Fund at any time and subjects the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the aggregate of the cost to the Fund of purchasing such shares, plus the value of the Cash Amount, and the value of the cash collateral together with liability for related brokerage and other charges.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to the Fund: (i) for any period during which the Listing Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (ii) for any period during which trading on the Listing Exchange is suspended or restricted; (iii) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the shares of the Fund's portfolio securities or determination of its net asset value is not reasonably practicable; or (iv) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
Taxation on Creations and Redemptions of Creation Units.   An Authorized Participant generally will recognize either gain or loss upon the exchange of Deposit Securities for Creation Units. This gain or loss is calculated by taking the market value of the Creation Units purchased over the Authorized Participant’s aggregate basis in the Deposit Securities exchanged therefor. However, the IRS may apply the wash sales rules to determine that any loss realized upon the exchange of Deposit Securities for Creation Units is not currently deductible. Authorized Participants should consult their own tax advisors.
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Current U.S. federal income tax laws dictate that capital gain or loss realized from the redemption of Creation Units will generally create long-term capital gain or loss if the Authorized Participant holds the Creation Units for more than one year, or short-term capital gain or loss if the Creation Units were held for one year or less, if the Creation Units are held as capital assets.
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Taxes
The following is a summary of certain material U.S. federal income tax considerations regarding the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares of the Fund. This summary does not address all of the potential U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be applicable to the Fund or to all categories of investors, some of which may be subject to special tax rules. Current and prospective shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the specific U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences of investing in the Fund. The summary is based on the laws and judicial and administrative interpretations thereof in effect on the date of this SAI, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. References to the Fund will also generally apply to the Underlying Funds as well.
Regulated Investment Company Qualifications.  The Fund intends to qualify for treatment as a separate regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. To qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company, the Fund must annually distribute at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains) and meet several other requirements. Among such other requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of the Fund’s annual gross income must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities or non-U.S. currencies, other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly-traded partnerships (i.e., partnerships that are traded on an established securities market or tradable on a secondary market, other than partnerships that derive 90% of their income from interest, dividends, capital gains and other traditionally permitted mutual fund income); and (ii) at the close of each quarter of the Fund's taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets must be represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities, with such other securities limited for purposes of this calculation in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets may be invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer of two or more issuers of which 20% or more of the voting stock is held by the Fund and that are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly-traded partnerships.
The Fund may be able to cure a failure to derive 90% of its income from the sources specified above or a failure to diversify its holdings in the manner described above by paying a tax and/or by disposing of certain assets. If, in any taxable year, the Fund fails one of these tests and does not timely cure the failure, the Fund will be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation and distributions to its shareholders will not be deductible by the Fund in computing its taxable income.
Although, in general, the passive loss rules of the Internal Revenue Code do not apply to regulated investment companies, such rules do apply to a regulated investment company with respect to items attributable to interests in qualified publicly-traded partnerships. The Fund's investments in partnerships, including in qualified publicly-traded partnerships, may result in the Fund being subject to state, local, or non-U.S. income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.
Taxation of Regulated Investment Companies.  As a regulated investment company, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its taxable investment income and capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders, provided that it satisfies a minimum distribution requirement. To satisfy the minimum distribution requirement, the Fund must distribute to its shareholders at least the sum of (i) 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (i.e., income other than its net realized long-term capital gain over its net realized short-term capital loss), plus or minus certain adjustments, and (ii) 90% of its net tax-exempt income for the taxable year. The Fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporate rates on any taxable income or gains that it does not distribute to its shareholders. If the Fund fails to qualify for any taxable year as a regulated investment company or fails to meet the distribution requirement, all of its taxable income will be subject to tax at regular corporate income tax rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions generally will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. In such event, distributions to individuals should be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income and distributions to corporate shareholders generally should be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Although the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and its capital gains for each taxable year, the Fund will be
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subject to U.S. federal income taxation to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company in any year, it must pay out its earnings and profits accumulated in that year in order to qualify again as a regulated investment company. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company for a period greater than two taxable years, the Fund may be required to recognize any net built-in gains with respect to certain of its assets (i.e., the excess of the aggregate gains, including items of income, over aggregate losses that would have been realized with respect to such assets if the Fund had been liquidated) if it qualifies as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year.
Excise Tax.  The Fund will be subject to a 4% excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year at least 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the 12 months ended October 31 of such year. For this purpose, however, any ordinary income or capital gain net income retained by the Fund that is subject to corporate income tax will be considered to have been distributed by year-end. In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any underdistribution or overdistribution, as the case may be, from the previous year. The Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of this 4% excise tax. Long-term capital distributions from the Underlying Funds paid in December or, in certain cases, January in satisfaction of this rule will be subject to potential distribution by the Fund in the following calendar year.
Net Capital Loss Carryforwards.  Net capital loss carryforwards may be applied against any net realized capital gains in each succeeding year, until they have been reduced to zero.
In the event that the Fund were to experience an ownership change as defined under the Internal Revenue Code, the loss carryforwards and other favorable tax attributes of the Fund and an Underlying Fund, if any, may be subject to limitation.
Taxation of U.S. Shareholders.   Dividends and other distributions by the Fund are generally treated under the Internal Revenue Code as received by the shareholders at the time the dividend or distribution is made. However, any dividend or distribution declared by the Fund in October, November or December of any calendar year and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month shall be deemed to have been received by each shareholder on December 31 of such calendar year and to have been paid by the Fund not later than such December 31, provided such dividend is actually paid by the Fund during January of the following calendar year.
The Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income and any net realized long-term capital gains in excess of net realized short-term capital losses (including any capital loss carryovers). However, if the Fund retains for investment an amount equal to all or a portion of its net long-term capital gains in excess of its net short-term capital losses (including any capital loss carryovers), it will be subject to a corporate tax (at a maximum rate of 35%) on the amount retained. In that event, the Fund will designate such retained amounts as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who (a) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gains, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amount, (b) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the 35% tax paid by the Fund on the undistributed amount against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds to the extent their credits exceed their liabilities, if any, and (c) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in their shares by an amount equal to 65% of the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income. Organizations or persons not subject to U.S. federal income tax on such capital gains will be entitled to a refund of their pro rata share of such taxes paid by the Fund upon filing appropriate returns or claims for refund with the IRS.
Distributions of net realized long-term capital gains, if any, that the Fund reports as capital gains dividends are taxable as long-term capital gains, whether paid in cash or in shares and regardless of how long a shareholder has held shares of the Fund. All other dividends of the Fund (including dividends from short-term capital gains) from its current and accumulated earnings and profits (“regular dividends”) are generally subject to tax as ordinary income, subject to the discussion of qualified dividend income below. Short-term capital gains earned by an Underlying Fund will be ordinary income when distributed to the Fund and will not be offset by the Fund’s capital losses. Married couples filing jointly with income over approximately $465,000 and unmarried individuals with income over approximately $415,000, amounts adjusted annually for inflation, are subject to a 20% tax on any income in excess of those amounts that is long-term capital gain or qualified dividend income, and generally all other long-term capital gain is taxed at 15% (0% at certain income levels). In addition, the top marginal ordinary income tax rate is 39.6% for income in excess of the above thresholds.
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If an individual receives a regular dividend qualifying for the long-term capital gains rates and such dividend constitutes an “extraordinary dividend,” and the individual subsequently recognizes a loss on the sale or exchange of stock in respect of which the extraordinary dividend was paid, then the loss will be long-term capital loss to the extent of such extraordinary dividend. An “extraordinary dividend” on common stock for this purpose is generally a dividend (i) in an amount greater than or equal to 10% of the taxpayer’s tax basis (or trading value) in a share of stock, aggregating dividends with ex-dividend dates within an 85-day period, or (ii) in an amount greater than 20% of the taxpayer’s tax basis (or trading value) in a share of stock, aggregating dividends with ex-dividend dates within a 365-day period.
Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will, as to each shareholder, be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of a shareholder’s basis in shares of the Fund, and as a capital gain thereafter (if the shareholder holds shares of the Fund as capital assets). Distributions in excess of the Fund’s minimum distribution requirements, but not in excess of the Fund’s earnings and profits, will be taxable to shareholders and will not constitute nontaxable returns of capital. Shareholders receiving dividends or distributions in the form of additional shares should be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the amount of money that the shareholders receiving cash dividends or distributions will receive and should have a cost basis in the shares received equal to such amount.
A 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax is imposed on net investment income, including, but not limited to, interest, dividends, and net gain from investments, of U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000 (or $250,000 if married filing jointly) and of estates and trusts.
Investors considering buying shares just prior to a dividend or capital gain distribution should be aware that, although the price of shares purchased at that time may reflect the amount of the forthcoming distribution, such dividend or distribution may nevertheless be taxable to them. If the Fund is the holder of record of any security on the record date for any dividends payable with respect to such security, such dividends will be included in the Fund’s gross income not as of the date received but as of the later of (a) the date such security became ex-dividend with respect to such dividends (i.e., the date on which a buyer of the security would not be entitled to receive the declared, but unpaid, dividends); or (b) the date the Fund acquired such security. Accordingly, in order to satisfy its income distribution requirements, the Fund may be required to pay dividends based on anticipated earnings, and shareholders may receive dividends in an earlier year than would otherwise be the case.
In certain situations, the Fund may, for a taxable year, defer all or a portion of its net capital loss (or if there is no net capital loss, then any net long-term or short-term capital loss) realized after October and its late-year ordinary loss (defined as the sum of (i) the excess of post-October foreign currency and passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) losses over post-October foreign currency and PFIC gains and (ii) the excess of post-December ordinary losses over post-December ordinary income) until the next taxable year in computing its investment company taxable income and net capital gain, which will defer the recognition of such realized losses. Such deferrals and other rules regarding gains and losses realized after October (or December) may affect the tax character of shareholder distributions.
Sales of Shares.  Upon the sale or exchange of shares of the Fund, a shareholder will realize a taxable gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and the shareholder’s basis in shares of the Fund. A redemption of shares by the Fund will be treated as a sale for this purpose. Such gain or loss will be treated as capital gain or loss if the shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for more than one year and short-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for one year or less. Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent the shares disposed of are replaced, including replacement through the reinvesting of dividends or capital gains distributions, or by an option on substantially identical shares within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of the shares. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be increased to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on the sale of Fund shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions or deemed distributions of long-term capital gains received by the shareholder with respect to such share. The Medicare contribution tax described above will apply to the sale of Fund shares.
If a shareholder incurs a sales charge in acquiring shares of the Fund, disposes of those shares within 90 days and then, on or before January 31 of the following calendar year, acquires shares in a mutual fund for which the otherwise applicable sales charge is reduced by reason of a reinvestment right (e.g., an exchange privilege), the original sales charge will not be taken into account in computing gain/loss on the original shares to the extent the subsequent sales charge is reduced. Instead, the disregarded portion of the original sales charge will be added to the tax basis of the newly acquired shares. Furthermore, the
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same rule also applies to a disposition of the newly acquired shares made within 90 days of the second acquisition. This provision prevents shareholders from immediately deducting the sales charge by shifting their investments within a family of mutual funds.
Back-Up Withholding.  In certain cases, the Fund will be required to withhold at a 28% rate and remit to the U.S. Treasury such amounts withheld from any distributions paid to a shareholder who: (i) has failed to provide a correct taxpayer identification number; (ii) is subject to back-up withholding by the IRS; (iii) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to back-up withholding; or (iv) has not certified that such shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). Back-up withholding is not an additional tax and any amount withheld may be credited against a shareholder's U.S. federal income tax liability.
Sections 351 and 362.  The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has the right to reject an order for a purchase of shares of the Fund if the purchaser (or group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund and if, pursuant to Sections 351 and 362 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund would have a basis in the securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. If the Fund’s basis in such securities on the date of deposit was less than market value on such date, the Fund, upon disposition of the securities, would recognize more taxable gain or less taxable loss than if its basis in the securities had been equal to market value. It is not anticipated that the Trust will exercise the right of rejection except in a case where the Trust determines that accepting the order could result in material adverse tax consequences to the Fund or its shareholders. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination.
Taxation of Certain Derivatives.  An Underlying Fund’s transactions in zero coupon securities, non-U.S. currencies, forward contracts, options and futures contracts (including options and futures contracts on non-U.S. currencies), to the extent permitted, will be subject to special provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (including provisions relating to “hedging transactions” and “straddles”) that, among other consequences, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer Fund losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also (a) will require the Underlying Fund to mark-to-market certain types of the positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out at the end of each year) and (b) may cause the Underlying Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to pay dividends or make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements for avoiding income and excise taxes. The Fund and each Underlying Fund will monitor its transactions, will make the appropriate tax elections and will make the appropriate entries in its books and records when it acquires any zero coupon security, non-U.S. currency, forward contract, option, futures contract or hedged investment in order to mitigate the effect of these rules and prevent disqualification of the Underlying Fund as a regulated investment company.
An Underlying Fund’s investments in so-called “Section 1256 contracts,” such as regulated futures contracts, most non-U.S. currency forward contracts traded in the interbank market and options on most security indexes, are subject to special tax rules. All Section 1256 contracts held by the Underlying Fund at the end of its taxable year are required to be marked to their market value, and any unrealized gain or loss on those positions will be included in the Underlying Fund’s income as if each position had been sold for its fair market value at the end of the taxable year. The resulting gain or loss will be combined with any gain or loss realized by the Underlying Fund from positions in Section 1256 contracts closed during the taxable year. Provided such positions were held as capital assets and were not part of a “hedging transaction” nor part of a “straddle,” 60% of the resulting net gain or loss will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss, and 40% of such net gain or loss will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss, regardless of the period of time the positions were actually held by the Underlying Fund.
As a result of entering into swap contracts, the Underlying Fund may make or receive periodic net payments. An Underlying Fund may also make or receive a payment when a swap is terminated prior to maturity through an assignment of the swap or other closing transaction. Periodic net payments will generally constitute ordinary income or deductions, while termination of a swap will generally result in capital gain or loss (which will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the Underlying Fund has been a party to the swap for more than one year). With respect to certain types of swaps, the Underlying Fund may be required to currently recognize income or loss with respect to future payments on such swaps or may elect under certain circumstances to mark such swaps to market annually for tax purposes as ordinary income or loss.
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Excess Inclusion Income.  Under current law, the Fund serves to block unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) from being realized by its tax-exempt shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in the Fund if shares in the Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Section 514(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Certain types of income received by an Underlying Fund from REITs, real estate mortgage investment conduits, taxable mortgage pools or other investments may cause the Fund to report some or all of its distributions as “excess inclusion income.” To Fund shareholders, such excess inclusion income may (i) constitute taxable income, as UBTI for those shareholders who would otherwise be tax-exempt such as individual retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, Keogh plans, pension plans and certain charitable entities; (ii) not be offset by otherwise allowable deductions for tax purposes; (iii) not be eligible for reduced U.S. withholding for non-U.S. shareholders even from tax treaty countries; and (iv) cause the Fund or Underlying Fund to be subject to tax if certain “disqualified organizations,” as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, are Fund shareholders. If a charitable remainder annuity trust or a charitable remainder unitrust (each as defined in Section 664 of the Internal Revenue Code) has UBTI for a taxable year, a 100% excise tax on the UBTI is imposed on the trust.
Non-U.S. Investments.  Under Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code, gains or losses attributable to fluctuations in exchange rates between the time an Underlying Fund accrues income or receivables or expenses or other liabilities denominated in a non-U.S. currency and the time the Underlying Fund actually collects such income or pays such liabilities are generally treated as ordinary income or ordinary loss. In general, gains (and losses) realized on debt instruments will be treated as Section 988 gain (or loss) to the extent attributable to changes in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which the instruments are denominated. Similarly, gains or losses on non-U.S. currency, non-U.S. currency forward contracts and certain non-U.S. currency options or futures contracts denominated in non-U.S. currency, to the extent attributable to fluctuations in exchange rates between the acquisition and disposition dates, are also treated as ordinary income or loss unless the Underlying Fund were to elect otherwise.
The Underlying Funds, if invested in non-U.S. positions, may be subject to non-U.S. income taxes and non-U.S. financial transactions taxes. Each Underlying Fund that is permitted to do so may elect to “pass through” to its investors, including the Fund, the amount of non-U.S. income taxes paid by the Underlying Fund. The Fund will be eligible to elect to “pass through” such amounts to their stockholders and may do so, depending upon circumstances.
Passive Foreign Investment Companies.  If the Underlying Fund purchases shares in PFICs, it may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the Fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on the Fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.
If the Underlying Fund were to invest in a PFIC and elect to treat the PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” under the Internal Revenue Code, in lieu of the foregoing requirements, the Underlying Fund might be required to include in income each year a portion of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the qualified electing fund, even if not distributed to the Underlying Fund, and such amounts would be subject to the 90% and excise tax distribution requirements described above. In order to make this election, the Underlying Fund would be required to obtain certain annual information from the PFICs in which it invests, which may be difficult or impossible to obtain.
Alternatively, the Underlying Fund may make a mark-to-market election that would result in the Underlying Fund being treated as if it had sold and repurchased its PFIC stock at the end of each year. In such case, the Underlying Fund would report any such gains as ordinary income and would deduct any such losses as ordinary losses to the extent of previously recognized gains. The election must be made separately for each PFIC owned by the Underlying Fund and, once made, would be effective for all subsequent taxable years, unless revoked with the consent of the IRS. By making the election, the Underlying Fund could potentially ameliorate the adverse tax consequences with respect to its ownership of shares in a PFIC, but in any particular year may be required to recognize income in excess of the distributions it receives from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock. The Underlying Fund may have to distribute this “phantom” income and gain to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement and to avoid imposition of the 4% excise tax.
An Underlying Fund will make the appropriate tax elections, if possible, and take any additional steps that are necessary to mitigate the effects of these rules.
Reporting.  If a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempted from this reporting requirement,
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but under current guidance, shareholders of a regulated investment company are not exempted. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Other Taxes.  Dividends, distributions and redemption proceeds may also be subject to additional state, local and non-U.S. taxes depending on each shareholder’s particular situation.
Taxation of Non-U.S. Shareholders.  Dividends paid by the Fund to non-U.S. shareholders are generally subject to withholding tax at a 30% rate or a reduced rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty to the extent derived from investment income and short-term capital gains. Dividends paid by the Fund from net tax-exempt income or long-term capital gains are generally not subject to such withholding tax. In order to obtain a reduced rate of withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder will be required to provide an IRS Form W-8BEN or IRS Form W-8BEN-E certifying its entitlement to benefits under a treaty. The withholding tax does not apply to regular dividends paid to a non-U.S. shareholder who provides an IRS Form W-8ECI, certifying that the dividends are effectively connected with the non-U.S. shareholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States. Instead, the effectively connected dividends will be subject to regular U.S. income tax as if the non-U.S. shareholder were a U.S. shareholder. A non-U.S. corporation receiving effectively connected dividends may also be subject to additional “branch profits tax” imposed at a rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate). A non-U.S. shareholder who fails to provide an IRS Form W-8BEN, IRS Form W-8BEN-E or other applicable form may be subject to back-up withholding at the appropriate rate.
Properly-reported dividends are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax where they (i) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the Fund’s U.S. source interest income, other than certain contingent interest and interest from obligations of a corporation or partnership in which the Fund is at least a 10% shareholder, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income) or (ii) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain over the Fund’s long-term capital loss for such taxable year). However, depending on its circumstances, the Fund may report all, some or none of its potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term capital gains and/or treat such dividends, in whole or in part, as ineligible for this exemption from withholding. In order to qualify for this exemption from withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder will need to comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN, IRS Form W-8BEN-E or substitute Form). In the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the Fund reports the payment as qualified net interest income or qualified short-term capital gain. Non-U.S. shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to the application of these rules to their accounts.
Distributions that the Fund reports as “short-term capital gain dividends” or “long-term capital gain dividends” will not be treated as such to a recipient foreign shareholder if the distribution is attributable to gain received from the sale or exchange of U.S. real property or an interest in a U.S. real property holding corporation and the Fund’s direct or indirect interests in U.S. real property exceeded certain levels. Instead, if the foreign shareholder has not owned more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Fund at any time during the one year period ending on the date of distribution, such distributions will be subject to 30% withholding by the Fund and will be treated as ordinary dividends to the foreign shareholder; if the foreign shareholder owned more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Fund at any time during the one year period ending on the date of the distribution, such distribution will be treated as real property gain subject to 35% withholding tax and could subject the foreign shareholder to U.S. filing requirements. Additionally, if the Fund’s direct or indirect interests in U.S. real property were to exceed certain levels, a foreign shareholder realizing gains upon redemption from the Fund could be subject to the 35% withholding tax and U.S. filing requirements unless more than 50% of the Fund’s shares were owned by U.S. persons at such time or unless the foreign person had not held more than 5% of the Fund’s outstanding shares throughout either such person’s holding period for the redeemed shares or, if shorter, the previous five years.
The rules laid out in the previous paragraph, other than the withholding rules, will apply notwithstanding the Fund’s participation in a wash sale transaction or its payment of a substitute dividend.
Provided that 50% or more of the value of the Fund’s shares are held by U.S. shareholders, distributions of U.S. real property interests (including securities in a U.S. real property holding corporation, unless such corporation is regularly traded on an established securities market and the Fund has held 5% or less of the outstanding shares of the corporation during the five-year period ending on the date of distribution) in redemption of a foreign shareholder’s shares of the Fund will cause the
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Fund to recognize gain. If the Fund is required to recognize gain, the amount of gain recognized will equal to the fair market value of such interests over the Fund’s adjusted bases to the extent of the greatest foreign ownership percentage of the Fund during the five-year period ending on the date of redemption.
A 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items and will be imposed on proceeds from the sale, redemption or other disposition of property producing U.S.-source dividends and interest paid after December 31, 2018, to (i) foreign financial institutions, including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders; and (ii) certain other foreign entities, unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to (i) enter into agreements with the IRS that state that they will provide the IRS information, including the names, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers of direct and indirect U.S. account holders; comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts; report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained; agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information; and determine certain other information concerning their account holders, or (ii) in the event an intergovernmental agreement and implementing legislation are adopted, provide local revenue authorities with similar account holder information. Other foreign entities may need to report the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or provide certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.
Shares of the Fund held by a non-U.S. shareholder at death will be considered situated within the United States and subject to the U.S. estate tax.
The foregoing discussion is a summary of certain material U.S. federal income tax considerations only and is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Purchasers of shares should consult their own tax advisors as to the tax consequences of investing in such shares, including consequences under state, local and non-U.S. tax laws. Finally, the foregoing discussion is based on applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, judicial authority and administrative interpretations in effect on the date of this SAI. Changes in applicable authority could materially affect the conclusions discussed above, and such changes often occur.
Financial Statements
Financial statements for the Fund are not available because, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund has no financial information to report.
Miscellaneous Information
Counsel.  Sidley Austin LLP, located at 787 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019, is counsel to the Trust.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.  ________________________, serves as the Trust's independent registered public accounting firm, audits the Fund's financial statements, and may perform other services.
Shareholder Communications to the Board.  The Board has established a process for shareholders to communicate with the Board. Shareholders may contact the Board by mail. Correspondence should be addressed to Equity-Liquidity Complex Board of Trustees, 55 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10055. Shareholder communications to the Board should include the following information: (i) the name and address of the shareholder; (ii) the number of shares owned by the shareholder; (iii) the Fund(s) of which the shareholder owns shares; and (iv) if these shares are owned indirectly through a broker, financial intermediary or other record owner, the name of the broker, financial intermediary or other record owner. All correspondence received as set forth above shall be reviewed by the Secretary of the Trust and reported to the Board.
Investors’ Rights.  The Fund relies on the services of BFA and its other service providers, including the Distributor, administrator, custodian and transfer agent. Further information about the duties and roles of these service providers is set out in this SAI. Investors who acquire shares of the Fund are not parties to the relevant agreement with these service providers and do not have express contractual rights against the Fund or its service providers, except certain institutional investors that are Authorized Participants may have certain express contractual rights with respect to the Distributor under
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the terms of the relevant authorized participant agreement. Investors may have certain legal rights under federal or state law against the Fund or its service providers. In the event that an investor considers that it may have a claim against the Fund, or against any service provider in connection with its investment in the Fund, such investor should consult its own legal advisor.
By contract, Authorized Participants irrevocably submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of any New York State or U.S. federal court sitting in New York City over any suit, action or proceeding arising out of or relating to the Authorized Participant Agreement. Jurisdiction over other claims, whether by investors or Authorized Participants, will turn on the facts of the particular case and the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceeding is brought.
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Appendix A - Proxy Voting Policy and BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines
BlackRock U.S. Registered Funds
iShares by BlackRock
Open-End Fund1 and ETF Proxy Voting Policy
Procedures Governing Delegation of Proxy Voting to Fund Adviser
September 28, 2015
The Boards of Trustees/Directors (“Directors”) of open-end funds advised by BlackRock Fund Advisors or BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) (the “Funds”), have the responsibility for the oversight of voting proxies relating to portfolio securities of the Funds, and have determined that it is in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders to delegate that responsibility to BlackRock as part of BlackRock’s authority to manage, acquire and dispose of account assets, all as contemplated by the Funds’ respective investment management agreements.
BlackRock has adopted guidelines and procedures (together and as from time to time amended, the “BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines”) governing proxy voting by accounts managed by BlackRock.
BlackRock will cast votes on behalf of each of the Funds on specific proxy issues in respect of securities held by each such Fund in accordance with the BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines.1
BlackRock will report on an annual basis to the Directors on (1) all proxy votes that BlackRock has made on behalf of the Funds in the preceding year together with a certification from the Funds’ Chief Compliance Officer that all votes were in accordance with the BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines, and (2) any changes to the BlackRock Proxy Voting Guidelines that have not previously been reported.
©2015 BlackRock

1 iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF, iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF, iShares MSCI EAFE ESG ETF, iShares MSCI EM ESG ETF, iShares MSCI Global Impact ETF, iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF and iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF have separate Fund Proxy Voting Policies.
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INTRODUCTION TO BLACKROCK
BlackRock is the world’s preeminent asset management firm and a premier provider of global investment management, risk management and advisory services to institutional and individual clients around the world. BlackRock offers a wide range of investment strategies and product structures to meet clients’ needs, including individual and institutional separate accounts, mutual funds, closed-end funds, and other pooled investment vehicles and the industry-leading iShares exchange traded funds. Through BlackRock Solutions®, we offer risk management, strategic advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of clients.
PHILOSOPHY ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
BlackRock’s corporate governance program is focused on protecting and enhancing the economic value of the companies in which it invests on behalf of clients. We do this through engagement with boards and management of investee companies and, for those clients who have given us authority, through voting at shareholder meetings.
We believe that there are certain fundamental rights attached to share ownership. Companies and their boards should be accountable to shareholders and structured with appropriate checks and balances to ensure that they operate in shareholders’ interests. Effective voting rights are central to the rights of ownership and there should be one vote for one share. Shareholders should have the right to elect, remove and nominate directors, approve the appointment of the auditor and to amend the corporate charter or by-laws. Shareholders should be able to vote on matters that are material to the protection of their investment including but not limited to changes to the purpose of the business, dilution levels and pre-emptive rights, the distribution of income and the capital structure. In order to exercise these rights effectively, we believe shareholders have the right to sufficient and timely information to be able to take an informed view of the proposals, and of the performance of the company and management.
Our focus is on the board of directors, as the agent of shareholders, which should set the company’s strategic aims within a framework of prudent and effective controls which enables risk to be assessed and managed. The board should provide direction and leadership to the management and oversee management’s performance. Our starting position is to be supportive of boards in their oversight efforts on our behalf and we would generally expect to support the items of business they put to a vote at shareholder meetings. Votes cast against or withheld from resolutions proposed by the board are a signal that we are concerned that the directors or management have either not acted in the interests of shareholders or have not responded adequately to shareholder concerns regarding strategy or performance.
These principles set out our approach to engaging with companies, provide guidance on our position on corporate governance and outline how our views might be reflected in our voting decisions. Corporate governance practices vary internationally and our expectations in relation to individual companies are based on the legal and regulatory framework of each market. However, as noted above, we do believe that there are some overarching principles of corporate governance that apply globally. We assess voting matters on a case-by-case basis and in light of each company’s unique circumstances. We are interested to understand from the company’s reporting its approach to corporate governance, particularly where it is different from the usual market practice, and how it benefits shareholders.
BlackRock also believes that shareholders have responsibilities in relation to monitoring and providing feedback to companies, sometimes known as stewardship. These ownership responsibilities include, in our view, engaging with management or board members on corporate governance matters, voting proxies in the best long-term economic interests of shareholders and engaging with regulatory bodies to ensure a sound policy framework consistent with promoting long-term shareholder value creation. Institutional shareholders also have responsibilities to their clients to have appropriate resources and oversight structures. Our own approach to oversight in relation to our corporate governance activities is set out in the section below titled “BlackRock’s oversight of its corporate governance activities”.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, ENGAGEMENT AND VOTING
We recognize that accepted standards of corporate governance differ between markets but we believe that there are sufficient common threads globally to identify an overarching set of principles. The primary objective of our corporate governance activities is the protection and enhancement of the value of our clients’ investments in public corporations. Thus, these principles focus on practices and structures that we consider to be supportive of long-term value creation. We discuss below the principles under six key themes. In our regional and market-specific voting guidelines we explain how these
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principles inform our voting decisions in relation to specific resolutions that may appear on the agenda of a shareholder meeting in the relevant market.
The six key themes are:
Boards and directors
Auditors and audit-related issues
Capital structure, mergers, asset sales and other special transactions
Remuneration and benefits
Social, ethical and environmental issues
General corporate governance matters
At a minimum we would expect companies to observe the accepted corporate governance standard in their domestic market or to explain why doing so is not in the interests of shareholders. Where company reporting and disclosure is inadequate or the approach taken is inconsistent with our view of what is in the best interests of shareholders, we typically will engage with the company and/or use our vote to encourage a change in practice. In making voting decisions, we take into account research from proxy advisors, other internal and external research, information published by the company or provided through engagement and the views of our equity portfolio managers.
BlackRock views engagement as an important activity; engagement provides BlackRock with the opportunity to improve our understanding of investee companies and their governance structures, so that our voting decisions may be better informed. Engagement also allows us to share our philosophy and approach to investment and corporate governance with companies to enhance their understanding of our objectives. There are a range of approaches we may take in engaging companies depending on the nature of the issue under consideration, the company and the market.
Boards and directors
The performance of the board is critical to the economic success of the company and to the protection of shareholders’ interests. Board members serve as agents of shareholders in overseeing the strategic direction and operation of the company. For this reason, BlackRock focuses on directors in many of its engagements and sees the election of directors as one of its most important responsibilities in the proxy voting context.
We expect the board of directors to promote and protect shareholder interests by:
establishing an appropriate corporate governance structure;
supporting and overseeing management in setting strategy;
ensuring the integrity of financial statements;
making decisions regarding mergers, acquisitions and disposals;
establishing appropriate executive compensation structures; and
addressing business issues including social, ethical and environmental issues when they have the potential to materially impact company reputation and performance.
There should be clear definitions of the role of the board, the sub-committees of the board and the senior management such that the responsibilities of each are well understood and accepted. Companies should report publicly the approach taken to governance (including in relation to board structure) and why this approach is in the interest of shareholders. We will engage with the appropriate directors where we have concerns about the performance of the board or the company, the broad strategy of the company or the performance of individual board members. Concerns about directors may include their role on the board of a different company where that board has performed poorly and failed to protect shareholder interests.
BlackRock believes that directors should stand for re-election on a regular basis. We assess directors nominated for election or re-election in the context of the composition of the board as a whole. There should be detailed disclosure of the relevant credentials of the individual directors in order that shareholders can assess the caliber of an individual nominee. We expect there to be a sufficient number of independent directors on the board to ensure the protection of the interests of all shareholders. Common impediments to independence may include but are not limited to:
current employment at the company or a subsidiary;
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former employment within the past several years as an executive of the company;
providing substantial professional services to the company and/or members of the company’s management;
having had a substantial business relationship in the past three years;
having, or representing a shareholder with, a substantial shareholding in the company;
being an immediate family member of any of the aforementioned; and
interlocking directorships.
BlackRock believes that the operation of the board is enhanced when there is a clearly independent, senior non-executive director to lead it. Where the chairman is also the CEO or is otherwise not independent the company should have an independent lead director. The role of this director is to enhance the effectiveness of the independent members of the board through shaping the agenda, ensuring adequate information is provided to the board and encouraging independent participation in board deliberations. The lead independent board director should be available to shareholders if they have concerns that they wish to discuss.
To ensure that the board remains effective, regular reviews of board performance should be carried out and assessments made of gaps in skills or experience amongst the members. BlackRock believes it is beneficial for new directors to be brought onto the board periodically to refresh the group’s thinking and to ensure both continuity and adequate succession planning. In identifying potential candidates, boards should take into consideration the diversity of experience and expertise of the current directors and how that might be augmented by incoming directors. We believe that directors are in the best position to assess the optimal size for the board, but we would be concerned if a board seemed too small to have an appropriate balance of directors or too large to be effective.
There are matters for which the board has responsibility that may involve a conflict of interest for executives or for affiliated directors. BlackRock believes that shareholders’ interests are best served when the independent members of the board form a sub-committee to deal with such matters. In many markets, these sub-committees of the board specialize in audit, director nominations and compensation matters. An ad hoc committee might also be formed to decide on a special transaction, particularly one with a related party.
Auditors and audit-related issues
BlackRock recognizes the critical importance of financial statements which should provide a complete and accurate picture of a company’s financial condition. We will hold the members of the audit committee or equivalent responsible for overseeing the management of the audit function. We take particular note of cases involving significant financial restatements or ad hoc notifications of material financial weakness.
The integrity of financial statements depends on the auditor being free of any impediments to being an effective check on management. To that end, we believe it is important that auditors are, and are seen to be, independent. Where the audit firm provides services to the company in addition to the audit, the fees earned should be disclosed and explained. Audit committees should also have in place a procedure for assuring annually the independence of the auditor.
Capital structure, mergers, asset sales and other special transactions
The capital structure of a company is critical to its owners, the shareholders, as it impacts the value of their investment and the priority of their interest in the company relative to that of other equity or debt investors. Pre-emption rights are a key protection for shareholders against the dilution of their interests.
In assessing mergers, asset sales or other special transactions, BlackRock’s primary consideration is the long-term economic interests of shareholders. Boards proposing a transaction need to clearly explain the economic and strategic rationale behind it. We will review a proposed transaction to determine the degree to which it enhances long-term shareholder value. We would prefer that proposed transactions have the unanimous support of the board and have been negotiated at arm’s length. We may seek reassurance from the board that executive and/or board members’ financial interests in a given transaction have not affected their ability to place shareholders’ interests before their own. Where the transaction involves related parties, we would expect the recommendation to support it to come from the independent directors and would prefer only non-conflicted shareholders to vote on the proposal.
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BlackRock believes that shareholders have a right to dispose of company shares in the open market without unnecessary restriction. In our view, corporate mechanisms designed to limit shareholders’ ability to sell their shares are contrary to basic property rights. Such mechanisms can serve to protect and entrench interests other than those of the shareholders. We believe that shareholders are broadly capable of making decisions in their own best interests. We would expect any so-called ‘shareholder rights plans’ being proposed by a board to be subject to shareholder approval on introduction and periodically thereafter for continuation.
Remuneration and benefits
BlackRock expects a company’s board of directors to put in place a compensation structure that incentivizes and rewards executives appropriately and is aligned with shareholder interests, particularly long-term shareholder returns. We would expect the compensation committee to take into account the specific circumstances of the company and the key individuals the board is trying to incentivize. We encourage companies to ensure that their compensation packages incorporate appropriate and challenging performance conditions consistent with corporate strategy and market practice. We use third party research, in addition to our own analysis, to evaluate existing and proposed compensation structures. We hold members of the compensation committee or equivalent accountable for poor compensation practices or structures.
BlackRock believes that there should be a clear link between variable pay and company performance as reflected in returns to shareholders. We are not supportive of one-off or special bonuses unrelated to company or individual performance. We support incentive plans that pay out rewards earned over multiple and extended time periods. We believe consideration should be given to building claw back provisions into incentive plans such that executives would be required to repay rewards where they were not justified by actual performance. Compensation committees should guard against contractual arrangements that would entitle executives to material compensation for early termination of their contract. Finally, pension contributions should be reasonable in light of market practice.
Outside directors should be compensated in a manner that does not risk compromising their independence or aligning their interests too closely with those of the management, whom they are charged with overseeing.
Social, ethical, and environmental issues
Our fiduciary duty to clients is to protect and enhance their economic interest in the companies in which we invest on their behalf. It is within this context that we undertake our corporate governance activities. We believe that well-managed companies will deal effectively with the social, ethical and environmental (“SEE”) aspects of their businesses.
BlackRock expects companies to identify and report on the material, business-specific SEE risks and opportunities and to explain how these are managed. This explanation should make clear how the approach taken by the company best serves the interests of shareholders and protects and enhances the long-term economic value of the company. The key performance indicators in relation to SEE matters should also be disclosed and performance against them discussed, along with any peer group benchmarking and verification processes in place. This helps shareholders assess how well management is dealing with the SEE aspects of the business. Any global standards adopted should also be disclosed and discussed in this context.
We may vote against the election of directors where we have concerns that a company might not be dealing with SEE issues appropriately. Sometimes we may reflect such concerns by supporting a shareholder proposal on the issue, where there seems to be either a significant potential threat or realized harm to shareholders’ interests caused by poor management of SEE matters. In deciding our course of action, we will assess whether the company has already taken sufficient steps to address the concern and whether there is a clear and material economic disadvantage to the company if the issue is not addressed.
More commonly, given that these are often not voting issues, we will engage directly with the board or management. The trigger for engagement on a particular SEE concern is our assessment that there is potential for material economic ramifications for shareholders.
We do not see it as our role to make social, ethical or political judgments on behalf of clients. We expect investee companies to comply, at a minimum, with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which they operate. They should explain how they manage situations where such laws or regulations are contradictory or ambiguous.
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General corporate governance matters
BlackRock believes that shareholders have a right to timely and detailed information on the financial performance and viability of the companies in which they invest. In addition, companies should also publish information on the governance structures in place and the rights of shareholders to influence these. The reporting and disclosure provided by companies helps shareholders assess whether the economic interests of shareholders have been protected and the quality of the board’s oversight of management. BlackRock believes shareholders should have the right to vote on key corporate governance matters, including on changes to governance mechanisms, to submit proposals to the shareholders’ meeting and to call special meetings of shareholders.
BLACKROCK’S OVERSIGHT OF ITS CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ACTIVITIES
Oversight
BlackRock holds itself to a very high standard in its corporate governance activities, including in relation to executing proxy votes. This function is executed by a team of dedicated BlackRock employees without sales responsibilities (the “Corporate Governance Group”), and which is considered an investment function. BlackRock maintains three regional oversight committees (“Corporate Governance Committees”) for the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific, consisting of senior BlackRock investment professionals. All of the regional Corporate Governance Committees report to a Global Corporate Governance Oversight Committee, which is a risk-focused committee composed of senior representatives of the active and index equity investment businesses, the Deputy General Counsel, the Global Executive Committee member to whom the Corporate Governance Group reports and the head of the Corporate Governance Group. The Corporate Governance Committees review and approve amendments to their respective proxy voting guidelines (“Guidelines”) and grant authority to the Global Head of Corporate Governance (“Global Head”), a dedicated BlackRock employee without sales responsibilities, to vote in accordance with the Guidelines. The Global Head leads the Corporate Governance Group to carry out engagement, voting and vote operations in a manner consistent with the relevant Corporate Governance Committee’s mandate. The Corporate Governance Group engages companies in conjunction with the portfolio managers in discussions of significant governance issues, conducts research on corporate governance issues and participates in industry discussions to keep abreast of the field of corporate governance. The Corporate Governance Group, or vendors overseen by the Corporate Governance Group, also monitor upcoming proxy votes, execute proxy votes and maintain records of votes cast. The Corporate Governance Group may refer complicated or particularly controversial matters or discussions to the appropriate investors and/or regional Corporate Governance Committees for their review, discussion and guidance prior to making a voting decision.
BlackRock’s Equity Policy Oversight Committee (EPOC) is informed of certain aspects of the work of the Global Corporate Governance Oversight Committee and the Corporate Governance Group.
Vote execution
BlackRock carefully considers proxies submitted to funds and other fiduciary accounts (“Funds”) for which it has voting authority. BlackRock votes (or refrains from voting) proxies for each Fund for which it has voting authority based on BlackRock’s evaluation of the best long-term economic interests of shareholders, in the exercise of its independent business judgment, and without regard to the relationship of the issuer of the proxy (or any dissident shareholder) to the Fund, the Fund’s affiliates (if any), BlackRock or BlackRock’s affiliates.
When exercising voting rights, BlackRock will normally vote on specific proxy issues in accordance with its Guidelines for the relevant market. The Guidelines are reviewed regularly and are amended consistent with changes in the local market practice, as developments in corporate governance occur, or as otherwise deemed advisable by BlackRock’s Corporate Governance Committees. The Corporate Governance Committees may, in the exercise of their business judgment, conclude that the Guidelines do not cover the specific matter upon which a proxy vote is requested or that an exception to the Guidelines would be in the best long-term economic interests of BlackRock’s clients.
In the uncommon circumstance of there being a vote with respect to fixed-income securities or the securities of privately held issuers the decision generally will be made by a Fund’s portfolio managers and/or the Corporate Governance Group based on their assessment of the particular transactions or other matters at issue.
In certain markets, proxy voting involves logistical issues which can affect BlackRock’s ability to vote such proxies, as well as the desirability of voting such proxies. These issues include but are not limited to: (i) untimely notice of shareholder
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meetings; (ii) restrictions on a foreigner’s ability to exercise votes; (iii) requirements to vote proxies in person; (iv) “share- blocking” (requirements that investors who exercise their voting rights surrender the right to dispose of their holdings for some specified period in proximity to the shareholder meeting); (v) potential difficulties in translating the proxy; and (vi) requirements to provide local agents with unrestricted powers of attorney to facilitate voting instructions. We are not supportive of impediments to the exercise of voting rights such as shareblocking or overly burdensome administrative requirements.
As a consequence, BlackRock votes proxies in these markets only on a “best-efforts” basis. In addition, the Corporate Governance Committees may determine that it is generally in the best interests of BlackRock clients not to vote proxies of companies in certain countries if the committee determines that the costs (including but not limited to opportunity costs associated with shareblocking constraints) associated with exercising a vote are expected to outweigh the benefit the client would derive by voting on the issuer’s proposal.
While it is expected that BlackRock, as a fiduciary, will generally seek to vote proxies over which BlackRock exercises voting authority in a uniform manner for all BlackRock clients, the relevant Corporate Governance Committee, in conjunction with the portfolio manager of an account, may determine that the specific circumstances of such an account require that such account’s proxies be voted differently due to such account’s investment objective or other factors that differentiate it from other accounts. In addition, BlackRock believes portfolio managers may from time to time legitimately reach differing but equally valid views, as fiduciaries for their funds and the client assets in those Funds, on how best to maximize economic value in respect of a particular investment. Accordingly, portfolio managers retain full discretion to vote the shares in the Funds they manage based on their analysis of the economic impact of a particular ballot item.
Conflicts management
BlackRock maintains policies and procedures that are designed to prevent undue influence on BlackRock’s proxy voting activity that might stem from any relationship between the issuer of a proxy (or any dissident shareholder) and BlackRock, BlackRock’s affiliates, a Fund or a Fund’s affiliates. Some of the steps BlackRock has taken to prevent conflicts include, but are not limited to:
BlackRock has adopted a proxy voting oversight structure whereby the Corporate Governance Committees oversee the voting decisions and other activities of the Corporate Governance Group, and particularly its activities with respect to voting in the relevant region of each Corporate Governance Committee’s jurisdiction.
The Corporate Governance Committees have adopted Guidelines for each region, which set forth the firm’s views with respect to certain corporate governance and other issues that typically arise in the proxy voting context. The Corporate Governance Committees receive periodic reports regarding the specific votes cast by the Corporate Governance Group and regular updates on material process issues, procedural changes and other matters of concern to the Corporate Governance Committees.
BlackRock’s Global Corporate Governance Oversight Committee oversees the Global Head, the Corporate Governance Group and the Corporate Governance Committees. The Global Corporate Governance Oversight Committee conducts a review, at least annually, of the proxy voting process to ensure compliance with BlackRock’s risk policies and procedures.
BlackRock maintains a reporting structure that separates the Global Head and Corporate Governance Group from employees with sales responsibilities. In addition, BlackRock maintains procedures intended to ensure that all engagements with corporate issuers or dissident shareholders are managed consistently and without regard to BlackRock’s relationship with the issuer of the proxy or dissident shareholder. Within the normal course of business, the Global Head or Corporate Governance Group may engage directly with BlackRock clients, and with employees with sales responsibilities, in discussions regarding general corporate governance policy matters, and to otherwise ensure that proxy-related client service levels are met. The Global Head or Corporate Governance Group does not discuss any specific voting matter with a client prior to the disclosure of the vote decision to all applicable clients after the shareholder meeting has taken place, except if the client is acting in the capacity as issuer of the proxy or dissident shareholder and is engaging through the established procedures independent of the client relationship.
In certain instances, BlackRock may determine to engage an independent fiduciary to vote proxies as a further safeguard to avoid potential conflicts of interest or as otherwise required by applicable law. The independent fiduciary may either vote such proxies or provide BlackRock with instructions as to how to vote such proxies. In the latter case, BlackRock votes the proxy in accordance with the independent fiduciary’s determination. Use of an independent fiduciary has been
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  adopted for voting the proxies related to any company that is affiliated with BlackRock or any company that includes BlackRock employees on its board of directors.
With regard to the relationship between securities lending and proxy voting, BlackRock’s approach is driven by our clients’ economic interests. The evaluation of the economic desirability of recalling loans involves balancing the revenue producing value of loans against the likely economic value of casting votes. Based on our evaluation of this relationship, we believe that generally the likely economic value of casting most votes is less than the securities lending income, either because the votes will not have significant economic consequences or because the outcome of the vote would not be affected by BlackRock recalling loaned securities in order to ensure they are voted. Periodically, BlackRock analyzes the process and benefits of voting proxies for securities on loan, and will consider whether any modification of its proxy voting policies or procedures is necessary in light of future conditions. In addition, BlackRock may in its discretion determine that the value of voting outweighs the cost of recalling shares, and thus recall shares to vote in that instance.
Voting guidelines
The issue-specific voting Guidelines published for each region/country in which we vote are intended to summarize BlackRock’s general philosophy and approach to issues that may commonly arise in the proxy voting context in each market where we invest. These Guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive. BlackRock applies the Guidelines on a case-by-case basis, in the context of the individual circumstances of each company and the specific issue under review.
As such, these Guidelines do not provide a guide to how BlackRock will vote in every instance. Rather, they share our view about corporate governance issues generally, and provide insight into how we typically approach issues that commonly arise on corporate ballots.
Reporting
We report our proxy voting activity directly to clients and publicly as required. In addition, we publish for clients a more detailed discussion of our corporate governance activities, including engagement with companies and with other relevant parties.
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Appendix B – Description of Fixed-Income Ratings
A rating is generally assigned to a fixed-income security at the time of issuance by a credit rating agency designated as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) by the SEC. While NRSROs may from time to time revise such ratings, they undertake no obligation to do so, and the ratings given to securities at issuance do not necessarily represent ratings which would be given to these securities on a particular subsequent date.
Fixed-income securities which are unrated expose the investor to risks with respect to capacity to pay interest or repay principal which are similar to the risks of lower-rated speculative bonds. Evaluation of these securities is dependent on the investment adviser’s judgment, analysis and experience in the evaluation of such securities.
Investors should note that the assignment of a rating to a security by an NRSRO may not reflect the effect of recent developments on the issuer’s ability to make interest and principal payments or on the likelihood of default.
Securities deemed to be high yield are rated below Baa3 by Moody’s and below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch.
The descriptions below relate to general long-term and short-term obligations of an issuer.
Moody’s Ratings
Long-Term Obligations
Aaa: Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa: Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A: Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa: Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba: Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B: Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa: Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative, of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca: Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C: Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Note: Moody's appends numerical modifiers 1, 2 and 3 in each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category.
Absence of Rating: Where no rating has been assigned or where a rating has been withdrawn, it may be for reasons unrelated to the creditworthiness of the issue.
Should no rating be assigned, the reason may be one of the following:
1. An application was not received or accepted.
2. The issue or issuer belongs to a group of securities or entities that are not rated as a matter of policy.
3. There is a lack of essential data pertaining to the issue or issuer.
4. The issue was privately placed, in which case the rating is not published in Moody’s publications.
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Withdrawal may occur if new and material circumstances arise, the effects of which preclude satisfactory analysis; if there is no longer available reasonable up-to-date data to permit a judgment to be formed; if a bond is called for redemption; or for other reasons.
Short-Term Obligations
Moody’s short-term debt ratings are opinions of the ability of issuers to honor short-term financial obligations, generally with an original maturity not exceeding thirteen months.
Moody's employs the following designations to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:
P-1: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-2: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-3: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NP: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
Long-Term Obligations
AAA: An obligation rated AAA has the highest rating assigned by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.
AA: An obligation rated AA differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment is very strong.
A: An obligation rated A is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong.
BBB: An obligation rated BBB exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
BB; B; CCC; CC; and C: Obligations rated BB, B, CCC, CC, and C are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. BB indicates the least degree of speculation and C the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.
BB: An obligation rated BB is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B: An obligation rated B is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated BB, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
CCC: An obligation rated CCC is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
CC: An obligation rated CC is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The CC rating is used when a default has not yet occurred, but Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
C: An obligation rated C is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared to obligations that are rated higher.
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D: An obligation rated D is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the D rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless Standard & Poor's Ratings Services believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The D rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to D if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
NR: NR indicates no rating has been requested, or that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.
Note: The ratings from AA to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
Short-Term Obligations
A-1: A short-term obligation rated A-1 is rated in the highest category by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.
A-2: A short-term obligation rated A-2 is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory.
A-3: A short-term obligation rated A-3 exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B: A short-term obligation rated B is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C: A short-term obligation rated C is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
D: A short-term obligation rated D is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the D rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless Standard & Poor's Ratings Services believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The D rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to D if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Fitch Ratings
Long-Term Obligations
AAA: Highest credit quality. AAA ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.
AA: Very high credit quality. AA ratings denote expectations of very low credit risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
A: High credit quality. A ratings denote expectations of low credit risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.
B-3

 


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BBB: Good credit quality. BBB ratings indicate that expectations of credit risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
BB: Speculative. BB ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to credit risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial alternatives may be available to allow financial commitments to be met.
B: Highly speculative. B ratings indicate that material credit risk is present.
CCC: Substantial credit risk. CCC ratings indicate that substantial credit risk is present.
CC: Very high levels of credit risk. CC ratings indicate very high levels of credit risk.
C: Exceptionally high levels of credit risk. C indicates exceptionally high levels of credit risk.
Defaulted obligations typically are not assigned RD or D ratings, but are instead rated in the B to C rating categories, depending upon their recovery prospects and other relevant characteristics. This approach better aligns obligations that have comparable overall expected loss but varying vulnerability to default and loss.
Note: The modifiers “+” or “-” may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the AAA obligation rating category, or to corporate finance obligation ratings in the categories below CCC.
The subscript 'emr' is appended to a rating to denote embedded market risk which is beyond the scope of the rating. The designation is intended to make clear that the rating solely addresses the counterparty risk of the issuing bank. It is not meant to indicate any limitation in the analysis of the counterparty risk, which in all other respects follows published Fitch criteria for analyzing the issuing financial institution. Fitch does not rate these instruments where the principal is to any degree subject to market risk.
Short-Term Obligations (Corporate and Public Finance)
A short-term issuer or obligation rating is based in all cases on the short-term vulnerability to default of the rated entity or security stream and relates to the capacity to meet financial obligations in accordance with the documentation governing the relevant obligation. Short-Term Ratings are assigned to obligations whose initial maturity is viewed as “short-term” based on market convention. Typically, this means up to 13 months for corporate, sovereign, and structured obligations, and up to 36 months for obligations in U.S. public finance markets.
F1: Highest short-term credit quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.
F2: Good short-term credit quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
F3: Fair short-term credit quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.
B: Speculative short-term credit quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.
C: High short-term default risk. Default is a real possibility.
RD: Restricted default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.
D: Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.
IS-SAI-____-____
B-4


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BlackRock Collateral Trust

File Nos. [        -            ] and [        -            ]

Part C

Other Information

Item 28. Exhibits:

PEA #         

 

Exhibit
No.

  

Description

(a)    Agreement and Declaration of Trust, dated April 4, 2016, is filed herewith.
(b)    By-Laws of the Registrant are filed herewith.
(c)    See Sections II, VII, IX, X and XI of the Agreement and Declaration of Trust filed herewith. See Articles IV, VI and XII of the By-Laws filed herewith.
(d)    Investment Advisory Agreement between the Registrant and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) to be filed by amendment.
(e)    Distribution Agreement between the Registrant and BlackRock Investments, LLC (“BRIL”) to be filed by amendment.
(f)    Not applicable.
(g)    Custodian Agreement to be filed by amendment.
(h)    Administration Agreement to be filed by amendment.
(h.1)    Transfer Agency Agreement to be filed by amendment.
(i)    Legal Opinion and Consent of Counsel to be filed by amendment.
(j)    Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm to be filed by amendment.
(k)    Not applicable.
(l)    Initial Capital Agreement to be filed by amendment.
(m)    Not applicable.
(n)    Not applicable.
(o)    Not applicable.
(p)    Code of Ethics to be filed by amendment.
(q)    Power of Attorney dated April 4, 2016 for David O. Beim, Susan J. Carter, Collette Chilton, Neil A. Cotty, Dr. Matina S. Horner, Rodney D. Johnson, Cynthia A. Montgomery, Barbara G. Novick, John M. Perlowski, Joseph P. Platt, Robert C. Robb, Jr., Mark Stalnecker, Kenneth L. Urish, Claire A. Walton and Frederick W. Winter is filed herewith.

Item 29. Persons Controlled By or Under Common Control with Registrant:

None.

Item 30. Indemnification:

BlackRock Collateral Trust (the “Trust” or the “Fund”) is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and is operated pursuant to an Agreement and Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration of Trust”) that permits the Trust to indemnify its trustees and officers under certain circumstances. Such indemnification, however, is subject to the limitations imposed by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), and the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Declaration of Trust provides that officers and trustees of the Trust shall be indemnified by the Trust to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all


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expenses reasonably incurred or paid in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which he or she becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of being or having been a trustee or officer and against amounts paid or incurred in the settlement thereof. This indemnification is subject to the following conditions:

(a) no indemnification shall be provided to a trustee or officer of the Trust who shall have been adjudicated by a court or body before which the proceeding was brought (A) to be liable to the Trust or its shareholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office or (B) not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his or her action was in the best interest of the Trust; and

(b) in the event of a settlement, no indemnification shall be provided to a trustee or officer of the Trust unless there has been a determination that such person did not engage in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office: (A) by the court or other body approving the settlement; (B) by at least a majority of those Trustees who neither are Interested Persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust nor are parties to the matter based upon a review of readily-available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry); or (C) by written opinion of independent legal counsel based upon a review of readily-available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry).

Article IX of the Registrant’s By-Laws provides as follows:

The By-Laws provide that the Trust may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any trustee, officer or employee of the Trust, including any trustee, officer or employee of the Trust who is or was serving at the request of the Trust as a trustee, officer, or employee of a corporation, partnership, association, joint venture, trust, or other enterprise, against any liability asserted against and incurred by such trustee, officer or employee in any such capacity or arising out of his or her status as such, whether or not the trustees would have the power to indemnify him or her against such liability. The Trust may not acquire or obtain a contract for insurance that protects or purports to protect any trustee or officer of the Trust against any liability to the Trust or its shareholders to which such trustee or officer otherwise would be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

1940 Act

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the 1940 Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the Trust pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the Trust has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the 1940 Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for Fund expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Fund in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the Trust will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question of whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the 1940 Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

1933 Act

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the 1933 Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the Fund pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the Fund has been advised that in the opinion of the SEC such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the 1933 Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the Fund of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Fund in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the Fund will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question of whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the 1933 Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

Item 31. Business and Other Connections of the Investment Adviser:

BFA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, California 94105. BFA’s business is that of a registered investment adviser to certain open end, management investment companies and various other institutional investors. The information required by this Item 31 about officers and directors of BFA, together with information as to any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature engaged in by such officers and directors during the past two years, is incorporated by reference to Schedules A and D of Form ADV, filed by BFA pursuant to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (File No. 801-22609).


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Item 32. Principal Underwriters:

(a) BRIL, the distributor of certain funds, acts as the principal underwriter or placement agent, as applicable, for each of the following open-end registered investment companies:

 

BBIF Government Securities Fund
BBIF Money Fund
BBIF Tax-Exempt Fund
BBIF Treasury Fund
BIF Government Securities Fund
BIF Money Fund
BIF Multi-State Municipal Series Trust
BIF Tax-Exempt Fund
BIF Treasury Fund
BlackRock Allocation Target Shares
BlackRock Balanced Capital Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Basic Value Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Bond Fund, Inc.
BlackRock California Municipal Series Trust
BlackRock Capital Appreciation Fund, Inc.
BlackRock CoRI Funds
BlackRock Emerging Markets Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Equity Dividend Fund
BlackRock EuroFund
BlackRock Financial Institutions Series Trust
BlackRock Focus Growth Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Funds
BlackRock Funds II
BlackRock Funds III
BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Global SmallCap Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Index Funds, Inc.
BlackRock Large Cap Series Funds, Inc.
BlackRock Latin America Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Liquidity Funds
BlackRock Long-Horizon Equity Fund
BlackRock Master LLC
BlackRock Mid Cap Value Opportunities Series, Inc.
BlackRock Multi-State Municipal Series Trust
BlackRock Municipal Bond Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Municipal Series Trust
BlackRock Natural Resources Trust
BlackRock Pacific Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Series Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Series, Inc.
BlackRock Strategic Global Bond Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Value Opportunities Fund, Inc.
BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc.
FDP Series, Inc.
Funds For Institution Series
iShares, Inc.
iShares Trust
iShares U.S. ETF Trust
Managed Account Series
Master Bond LLC
Master Focus Growth LLC
Master Government Securities LLC
Master Institutional Money Market LLC
Master Investment Portfolio
Master Large Cap Series LLC
Master Money LLC
Master Tax-Exempt LLC
Master Treasury LLC
Master Value Opportunities LLC
Quantitative Master Series LLC
Ready Assets Government Liquidity Fund
Ready Assets U.S.A. Government Money Fund
Ready Assets U.S. Treasury Money Fund
Retirement Series Trust
 

 

BRIL also acts as the distributor or placement agent for the following closed-end registered investment companies:

 

BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund, Inc.

BlackRock Debt Strategies Fund, Inc.

BlackRock Floating Rate Income Strategies Fund, Inc.

BlackRock Health Sciences Trust

BlackRock Limited Duration Income Trust

BlackRock Preferred Partners LLC

BRIL provides numerous financial services to BlackRock-advised funds and is the distributor of BlackRock’s open-end funds. These services include coordinating and executing Authorized Participation Agreements, preparing, reviewing and providing advice with respect to all sales literature and responding to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority comments on marketing materials.

 

(b) Set forth below is information concerning each director and officer of BRIL. The principal business address for each such person is 55 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10055.

 

Name

  

Position(s) and Office(s) with BRIL

  

Position(s) and Office(s) with Registrant

Joseph Linhares

  

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

  

None

Anne Ackerley

  

Managing Director

  

None

Matthew Mallow

  

Chief Legal Officer and Senior Managing Director

  

None


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Christopher Meade

  

General Counsel and Senior Managing Director

  

None

Ned Montenecourt

  

Chief Compliance Officer and Director

  

None

Saurabh Pathak

  

Chief Financial Officer and Director

  

None

Robert Crothers

  

Chief Operating Officer

  

None

Brenda Sklar

  

Managing Director

  

None

Lisa Hill

  

Managing Director

  

None

Joseph Craven

  

Managing Director

  

None

Terri Slane

  

Director and Assistant Secretary

  

None

Lourdes Sanchez

  

Associate

  

None

Chris Nugent

  

Director

  

None

Michael Bishopp

  

Managing Director

  

None

John Diorio

  

Director

  

None

Robert Fairbairn

  

Member, Board of Managers

  

None

Francis Porcelli

  

Member, Board of Managers

  

None

Richard Prager

  

Member, Board of Managers

  

None

Christopher Vogel

  

Member, Board of Managers

  

None

 

(c) Not applicable.

Item 33. Location of Accounts and Records:

 

(a) The Registrant maintains accounts, books and other documents required by Section 31(a) of the 1940 Act and the rules there under (collectively, the “Records”) at the offices of State Street Bank and Trust Company, 1 Iron Street, Boston, MA 02210.

 

(b) BFA maintains all Records relating to its services as investment adviser at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

 

(c) BRIL maintains all Records relating to its services as distributor at 1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.

 

(d) State Street maintains all Records relating to its services as transfer agent at 100 Huntington Avenue, Copley Place Tower 1, Floor 2, Boston, MA 02116. State Street maintains all Records relating to its services as fund accountant and custodian at 1 Iron Street, Boston, MA 02210.

Item 34. Management Services:

Not applicable.

Item 35. Undertakings:

Not applicable.


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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, the Registrant has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, duly authorized, in the City and State of New York on the 7th day of April, 2016.

 

BLACKROCK COLLATERAL TRUST
By:  
 

/s/ JOHN M. PERLOWSKI

  John M. Perlowski
  President and Chief Executive Officer

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the date indicated.

 

Signature

  

Title

  

Date

/s/ JOHN M. PERLOWSKI

(John M. Perlowski)

   Trustee, President and Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer)   

April 7, 2016

/s/ NEAL J. ANDREWS

(Neal J. Andrews)

   Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)   

April 7, 2016

DAVID O. BEIM*

(David O. Beim)

  

Trustee

  

SUSAN J. CARTER*

(Susan J. Carter)

  

Trustee

  

COLLETTE CHILTON*

(Collette Chilton)

  

Trustee

  

NEIL A. COTTY*

(Neil A. Cotty)

  

Trustee

  

DR. MATINA S. HORNER*

(Dr. Matina S. Horner)

  

Trustee

  

RODNEY D. JOHNSON*

(Rodney D. Johnson)

  

Trustee

  

CYNTHIA A. MONTGOMERY*

(Cynthia A. Montgomery)

  

Trustee

  

JOSEPH P. PLATT*

(Joseph P. Platt)

  

Trustee

  

ROBERT C. ROBB, JR.*

(Robert C. Robb, Jr.)

  

Trustee