485APOS 1 d683821d485apos.htm BLACKROCK LIQUID ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE FUND BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 22, 2019

Securities Act File No. 33-26305

Investment Company Act File No. 811-05742

 

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
Pre-Effective Amendment No.       
Post-Effective Amendment No. 922  
and/or  

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE

INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

 
Amendment No. 924  
(Check appropriate box or boxes)  

 

 

BLACKROCK FUNDSSM

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

100 Bellevue Parkway Wilmington, Delaware 19809

(Address of Principal Executive Office)

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

John M. Perlowski

BlackRock FundsSM

55 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10055

United States of America

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

John A. MacKinnon, Esq.

Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Avenue

New York, New York 10019-6018

 

Benjamin Archibald, Esq.

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

55 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10055

 

 

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box)

 

 

Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

 

On (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

 

60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

 

 

On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

 

 

75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

 

 

On April 8, 2019 pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

 

This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

Title of Securities Being Registered: Shares of Beneficial Interest, par value $0.001 per share.

 

 

 


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The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 22, 2019

[                ], 2019

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

   

LOGO

 

BlackRock FundsSM | Investor A and Institutional Shares

 

Ø   

BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

Investor A: [    ] • Institutional: [    ]

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from BlackRock or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. If you hold accounts directly with BlackRock, you can call (800) 441-7762 to inform BlackRock that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports. If you hold accounts through a financial intermediary, you can follow the instructions included with this disclosure, if applicable, or contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds advised by BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Fund Advisors or their affiliates, or all funds held with your financial intermediary, as applicable.

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. You may elect to receive electronic delivery of shareholder reports and other communications by: (i) accessing the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com/edelivery and logging into your accounts, if you hold accounts directly with BlackRock, or (ii) contacting your financial intermediary, if you hold accounts through a financial intermediary. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service.

This Prospectus contains information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Not FDIC Insured • May Lose Value • No Bank Guarantee


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Table of Contents

 

 

 

Fund Overview    Key facts and details about the Fund listed in this prospectus, including investment objectives, principal investment strategies, principal risk factors, fee and expense information, and historical performance information  
   Investment Objective     3  
   Fees and Expenses of the Fund     3  
   Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund     4  
   Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund     5  
   Performance Information     6  
   Investment Manager     6  
   Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares     6  
   Tax Information     7  
   Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries     7  
Details About the Fund    Information about how the Fund invests, including investment objectives, investment processes, principal strategies and risk factors  
   How the Fund Invests     8  
   Investment Risks     12  
Account Information    Information about account services, sales charges and waivers, shareholder transactions, and distribution and other payments  
   How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs     16  
   Details About the Share Classes     18  
   Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments     20  
   How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Share     20  
   Account Services and Privileges     26  
   Fund’s Rights     28  
   Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates     28  
   Participation in Fee-Based Programs     29  
   Short-Term Trading Policy     29  
   Master/Feeder Structure     29  
Management of the Fund    Information About BlackRock  
   BlackRock     31  
   Conflicts of Interest     32  
   Valuation of Fund Investments     33  
   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes     33  
Financial Highlights    Financial Performance of the Fund     35  
General Information    Shareholder Documents     36  
   Certain Fund Policies     36  
   Statement of Additional Information     36  
Glossary    Glossary of Investment Terms     37  
Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies    Intermediary-Defined Sale Charge Waiver Policies     A-1  
For More Information    Fund and Service Providers     Inside Back Cover  
   Additional Information     Back Cover  


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Fund Overview

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The investment objective of BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. More information about these fees and expenses is available from your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) and its affiliates) (each a “Financial Intermediary”) and in the “Details About the Share Classes” and the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” sections on pages 18 and A-1, respectively, of the Fund’s prospectus and in the “Purchase of Shares” section on page II-27 of Part II of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information.

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
   Investor A
Shares
  Institutional
Shares

Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price)

       None       None

Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) (as a percentage of offering price or redemption proceeds, whichever is lower)

       None 1        None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
   Investor A
Shares
  Institutional
Shares

Management Fee

       [    ]%       [    ]%

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

       0.25%       None

Other Expenses2

       [    ]%       [    ]%

Administration Fee

       [    ]%          [    ]%   

Miscellaneous Other Expenses2

       [    ]%          [    ]%   

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

       [    ]%       [    ]%

Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements3

       [    ]%       [    ]%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements3

       [    ]%       [    ]%

 

1 

There is no contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) on Investor A Shares purchased directly. However, a CDSC of up to 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of a fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates where no initial sales charge was paid at the time of purchase of such fund (each, an “Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund”) as part of an investment of $1,000,000 (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) or more. The Investor A Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor A Shares within 18 months after you originally acquired such Investor A Shares of the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund, unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor A Shares for more than 18 months (as measured from you original purchase of Investor A Shares that you exchanged into Investor A Shares of the Fund) or if you purchase Investor A Shares of the Fund not through an exchange.

 

2 

Miscellaneous Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

 

3 

As described in the “Management of the Fund” section of the Fund’s prospectus beginning on page 31, BlackRock has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Miscellaneous Other Expenses (excluding Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses) as a percentage of average daily net assets to [    ]% for Investor A Share and Institutional Shares through [                 ]. This agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

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Example:

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem 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  

Investor A Shares1

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Institutional Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

 

1 

These expense figures do not reflect the imposition of the CDSC which may be deducted upon the redemption of Investor A Shares of the Fund received in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund as described in the applicable prospectuses. No CDSC is deducted upon the redemption of Investor A Shares of the Fund that are not acquired by exchange.

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy. For purposes of this 80% policy, U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment have better than average performance in environmental practices.

In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also develop and employ the use of proprietary models. While these models may use third party data, they may differ as to the inputs and the significance of those inputs being employed. BlackRock may conduct its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion.

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

   

that derive more than 15% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

   

that derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”).

 

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Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Because the share price of the Fund will fluctuate, when you sell your shares, they may be worth more or less than what you originally paid for them. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a summary description of principal risks of investing in the Fund.

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. 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 investment in that issuer.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria. In evaluating an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable, which could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk — Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — Income risk is the risk that the Fund’s yield will vary as short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk — Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage- and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks. These securities also are subject to risk of default on the underlying mortgage or asset, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the 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 may lose money.

 

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Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Certain securities in which the Fund may invest, including securities issued by certain U.S. Government agencies and U.S. Government sponsored enterprises, are not guaranteed by the U.S. Government or supported by the full faith and credit of the United States.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — The absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them if the issuer defaults.

 

 

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 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 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

 

Because the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, it does not have performance information an investor would find useful in evaluating the risks of investing in the Fund.

Investment Manager

 

The Fund’s investment manager is BlackRock Advisors, LLC (previously defined as “BlackRock”).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

You may generally purchase or redeem shares of the Fund each day on which both the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open.

To purchase or sell shares of the Fund you should contact your Financial Intermediary, or, if you hold your shares through the Fund, you should contact the Fund by phone at (800) 441-7762, by mail (c/o BlackRock Funds, P.O. Box 9819, Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019), or by the Internet at www.blackrock.com/cash. You have until the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. Eastern time) to get your purchase money in to the Fund on the day of your purchase or your purchase order will be cancelled.

The Fund’s initial and subsequent investment minimums generally are as follows, although the Fund may reduce or waive the minimums in some cases.

 

     Investor A Shares   Institutional Shares
Minimum Initial Investment  

$1,000 for all accounts except:

•  $50, if establishing an Automatic Investment Plan (“AIP”).

•  There is no investment minimum for employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs).

•  There is no investment minimum for certain fee-based programs.

 

There is no minimum initial investment for:

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans, collective trust funds, investment companies or other pooled investment vehicles, unaffiliated thrifts and unaffiliated banks and trust companies, each of which may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform.

 

$2 million for individuals and “Institutional Investors,” which include, but are not limited to, endowments, foundations, family offices, local, city, and state governmental institutions, corporations and

 

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     Investor A Shares   Institutional Shares
Minimum Initial Investment (continued)      

insurance company separate accounts who may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to purchase such shares.

 

$1,000 for:

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

Minimum Additional Investment   $50 for all accounts (with the exception of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans which may have a lower minimum).   No subsequent minimum.

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s dividends and distributions may be subject to U.S. federal income taxes and may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are a tax-exempt investor or are investing through a qualified tax-exempt plan described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, in which case you may be subject to U.S. federal income tax when distributions are received from such tax-deferred arrangements.

Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary, the Fund and BlackRock Investments, LLC, the Fund’s distributor, or its affiliates may pay the Financial Intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Financial Intermediary and your individual financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment.

Ask your individual financial professional or visit your Financial Intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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Details About the Fund

 

 

 

Included in this prospectus are sections that tell you about buying and selling shares, management information, shareholder features of BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), and your rights as a shareholder.

How the Fund Invests

 

The Fund is a non-retail, non-government money market fund under Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).

 

 

The Fund will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. For a discussion of dollar-weighted average maturity and dollar-weighted average life, please see the Glossary on page 37.

 

 

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7, the Fund is subject to a “general liquidity requirement” that requires that the Fund hold securities that are sufficiently liquid to meet reasonably foreseeable shareholder redemptions in light of its obligations under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act regarding share redemptions and any commitments the Fund has made to shareholders. To comply with this general liquidity requirement, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) must consider factors that could affect the Fund’s liquidity needs, including characteristics of the Fund’s investors and their likely redemptions. Depending upon the volatility of its cash flows (particularly shareholder redemptions), this may require the Fund to maintain greater liquidity than would be required by the daily and weekly minimum liquidity requirements discussed below.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any illiquid security (i.e., securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to them by the Fund) if, immediately following such purchase, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets are invested in illiquid securities.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any security other than a daily liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 10% of its total assets would be invested in daily liquid assets, and the Fund will not acquire any security other than a weekly liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 30% of its total assets would be invested in weekly liquid assets. For a discussion of daily liquid assets and weekly liquid assets, please see the Glossary on page 37.

 

 

The Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) per share, calculated as described in “Management of the Fund — Valuation of Fund Investments,” will be quoted to the fourth decimal place (e.g., $1.0000), and is expected to fluctuate from time to time.

 

 

The Fund invests in securities maturing within 13 months or less from the date of purchase, with certain exceptions. For example, certain government securities held by the Fund may have remaining maturities exceeding 13 months if such securities provide for adjustments in their interest rates not less frequently than every 13 months.

 

 

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification, and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Fund will purchase securities (or issuers of such securities) that are Eligible Securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”). For a discussion of Eligible Securities, please see the Glossary.

The Board will be permitted to impose a liquidity fee on redemptions from the Fund (up to 2%) or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period under certain circumstances. Please see the section below titled “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for additional information about liquidity fees and redemption gates.

Investment Objective

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Should the Board determine that the investment objective of the Fund should be changed, shareholders will be given at least 30 days’ notice before any such change is made. However, such change can be effected without shareholder approval.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase

 

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agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy. For purposes of this 80% policy, U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment have better than average performance in environmental practices.

In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also develop and employ the use of proprietary models. While these models may use third party data, they may differ as to the inputs and the significance of those inputs being employed. BlackRock may conduct its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion.

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

   

that derive more than 15% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

   

that derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

When known at the time of purchase, Fund management may also consider an issuer’s or guarantor’s commitment to support sustainable palm oil.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. For purposes of compliance with the Fund’s 80% investment policy, (1) the Fund’s investment in “green” bonds will not be deemed to qualify unless the issuer or guarantor of such bonds, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria and (2) the Fund’s investment in repurchase agreements will not be deemed to qualify except to the extent that both the repurchase agreement counterparty and the issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) of the security subject to the repurchase agreement, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meet the Fund’s environmental criteria. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board.

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, the Fund will generally limit its purchases of any one issuer’s securities (other than U.S. Government obligations and repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities) to 5% of the Fund’s total assets, except that up to 25% of its total assets may be invested in securities of one issuer for a period of up to three business days; provided that the Fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing exception at any one time.

Additionally, a security purchased by the Fund (or the issuers of such security) will be:

 

   

a security that has short-term ratings at the time of purchase (or which are guaranteed or in some cases otherwise supported by credit supports with such ratings) in the highest rating category by at least two unaffiliated nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or one NRSRO, if the security or guarantee was only rated by one NRSRO;

 

   

a security that is issued or guaranteed by a person with such ratings;

 

   

a security without such short-term ratings that has been determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock;

 

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a security issued by other open-end investment companies that invest in the type of obligations in which the Fund may invest; or

 

   

a security issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Appendix A to the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) contains a description of the relevant rating symbols used by several NRSROs for various types of debt obligations.

During periods of unusual market conditions or during temporary defensive periods, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies. The Fund may hold uninvested cash reserves pending investment, during temporary defensive periods, or the Fund may invest without limit in U.S. Treasury securities. Uninvested cash reserves may not earn income. Temporary defensive investments may limit the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Principal Investments

The section below describes the particular types of securities in which the Fund principally invests. The Fund may, from time to time, make other types of investments and pursue other investment strategies in support of its overall investment goal. These supplemental investment strategies are described in the SAI.

Specifically, the Fund may invest in:

 

 

Bank Obligations. The Fund may purchase obligations of issuers in the banking industry, such as bank holding company obligations, bank commercial paper, certificates of deposit, bank notes and time deposits issued or supported by the credit of domestic banks or savings institutions and U.S. dollar-denominated instruments issued or supported by the credit of foreign banks or savings institutions. The Fund may also make interest-bearing savings deposits in domestic commercial and savings banks in amounts not in excess of 5% of the Fund’s assets. The Fund may also invest substantially in obligations of foreign banks or foreign branches of U.S. banks where BlackRock deems the instrument to present minimal credit risk.

 

 

Commercial Paper. The Fund may invest in commercial paper, short-term notes and corporate bonds of domestic corporations that meet the Fund’s quality and maturity requirements, which are short-term securities with maturities of 1 to 397 days, issued by banks, corporations and others. In addition, commercial paper purchased by the Fund may include instruments issued by foreign issuers.

 

 

Funding Agreements. The Fund may make investments in obligations, such as guaranteed investment contracts and similar funding agreements, issued by highly rated U.S. insurance companies. Funding agreement investments that do not provide for payment within seven days after notice are subject to the Fund’s policy regarding investments in illiquid securities.

 

 

Loan Participations. The Fund may invest in loan participations. Loan participations are interests in loans which are administered by the lending bank or agent for a syndicate of lending banks, and sold by the lending bank or syndicate member.

 

 

Master Demand or Term Notes. The Fund may invest in master demand or term notes payable in U.S. dollars and issued or guaranteed by U.S. and foreign corporations or other entities. A master demand or term note typically permits the investment of varying amounts by the Fund under an agreement between the Fund and an issuer. The principal amount of a master demand or term note may be increased from time to time by the parties (subject to specified maximums) or decreased by the issuer. In some instances, such notes may be supported by collateral. Collateral, if any, for a master demand or term note may include types of securities that the Fund could not hold directly.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Obligations. The Fund may invest in debt securities that are backed by a pool of assets, usually loans such as mortgages, installment sale contracts, credit card receivables or other assets (“asset-backed securities”). The Fund may also invest in certain mortgage-related securities, such as bonds that are backed by cash flows from pools of mortgages and may have multiple classes with different payment rights and protections (“collateralized mortgage obligations” or “CMOs”) issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities. Purchasable mortgage-related securities also include adjustable rate securities. The Fund currently intends to hold CMOs only as collateral for repurchase agreements.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements are similar in certain respects to collateralized loans, but are structured as a purchase of securities by the Fund, subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase the securities at a mutually agreed upon date and price. Under a repurchase agreement, the seller is required to furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of the seller’s repurchase obligation. Collateral for the Fund’s repurchase agreements may include cash, obligations issued by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, and obligations rated in the highest category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board. However, collateral is not limited to the foregoing and may include, for example, obligations rated in any category by NRSROs. Additionally, collateral for a repurchase agreement may include other types of securities that the Fund could not hold directly without the repurchase obligation.

 

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The Fund may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account at the Fund’s custodian bank, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations. The Fund may purchase obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises, and related custodial receipts.

 

 

U.S. Treasury Obligations. The Fund may invest in direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury. The Fund 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.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instruments. The Fund may purchase variable or floating rate notes, which are instruments that provide for adjustments in the interest rate on certain reset dates or whenever a specified interest rate index changes, respectively.

 

 

When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Transactions. The Fund may transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. The Fund expects that commitments to purchase securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis will not exceed 25% of the value of its total assets absent unusual market conditions. The Fund does not intend to purchase securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis for speculative purposes but only in furtherance of its investment objective. The Fund does not receive income from securities purchased on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis prior to delivery of such securities.

Other Strategies

In addition to the principal investment strategies discussed above, the Fund may also invest or engage in the following investments/strategies:

 

 

Borrowing. During periods of unusual market conditions, the Fund is authorized to borrow money from banks or other lenders on a temporary basis to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief. The Fund will borrow money when BlackRock believes that the return from securities purchased with borrowed funds will be greater than the cost of the borrowing. Such borrowings may be secured or unsecured.

 

 

Illiquid Investments. The Fund will not invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in illiquid securities that it cannot sell in the ordinary course within seven days at approximately current value.

 

 

Investment Company Securities. The Fund may invest in securities issued by other open-end or closed-end investment companies, including affiliated investment companies, as permitted by the Investment Company Act. A pro rata portion of the other investment companies’ expenses may be borne by the Fund’s shareholders. These investments may include, as consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies, certain variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end funds, which invest primarily in portfolios of taxable or tax-exempt securities. It is anticipated that the payments made on the variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end municipal bond funds will be exempt from federal income tax.

 

 

Municipal Obligations. The Fund may, when deemed appropriate by BlackRock in light of its investment objective, invest in high quality, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities, such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts (“Municipal Obligations”) issued by state and local governmental issuers which carry yields that are competitive with those of other types of money market instruments of comparable quality.

 

 

Restricted Securities. Restricted securities are securities that cannot be offered for public resale unless registered under the applicable securities laws or that have a contractual restriction that prohibits or limits their resale. They may include Rule 144A securities, which are privately placed securities that can be resold to qualified institutional buyers but not to the general public, and securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are offered pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund is permitted to invest up to one-third of its total assets in reverse repurchase agreements. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements and securities lending transactions (described below) will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

 

Securities Lending. The Fund may lend its securities with a value of up to one-third of its total assets (including the value of the collateral for the loan) to qualified brokers, dealers, banks and other financial institutions for the purpose of realizing additional net investment income through the receipt of interest on the loan. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements (described above) and securities lending transactions will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

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Investment Risks

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Because the share price of the Fund will fluctuate, when you sell your shares they may be worth more or less than what you originally paid for them. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a description of certain risks of investing in the Fund.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. 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 investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on both the financial condition of the issuer and the terms of the obligation.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria. In evaluating an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable, which could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk — Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — The Fund’s yield will vary as the short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk — Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage-backed securities (residential and commercial) and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Although asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) generally experience less prepayment than residential mortgage-backed securities, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, like traditional fixed-income securities, are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks.

Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. The Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar

 

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to those associated with mortgage-related securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. These securities also are subject to the risk of default on the underlying mortgages or assets, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Certain CMBS are issued in several classes with different levels of yield and credit protection. The Fund’s investments in CMBS with several classes may be in the lower classes that have greater risks than the higher classes, including greater interest rate, credit and prepayment risks.

Mortgage-backed securities may be either pass-through securities or CMOs. Pass-through securities represent a right to receive principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages, which are passed through to security holders. CMOs are created by dividing the principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages into several revenue streams (“tranches”) with different priority rights to portions of the underlying mortgage payments. Certain CMO tranches may represent a right to receive interest only (“IOs”), principal only (“POs”) or an amount that remains after floating-rate tranches are paid (an “inverse floater”). These securities are frequently referred to as “mortgage derivatives” and may be extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates. Interest rates on inverse floaters, for example, vary inversely with a short-term floating rate (which may be reset periodically). Interest rates on inverse floaters will decrease when short-term rates increase, and will increase when short-term rates decrease. These securities have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage. In response to changes in market interest rates or other market conditions, the value of an inverse floater may increase or decrease at a multiple of the increase or decrease in the value of the underlying securities. If the Fund invests in CMO tranches (including CMO tranches issued by government agencies) and interest rates move in a manner not anticipated by Fund management, it is possible that the Fund could lose all or substantially all of its investment. Certain mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest may also provide a degree of investment leverage, which could cause the Fund to lose all or substantially all of its investment.

The mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain of the Fund’s mortgage-related investments. Delinquencies and losses on mortgage loans (including subprime and second-lien mortgage loans) generally have increased and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of real estate values (as has been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Also, a number of mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen.

Asset-backed securities entail certain risks not presented by mortgage-backed securities, including the risk that in certain states it may be difficult to perfect the liens securing the collateral backing certain asset-backed securities. In addition, certain asset-backed securities are based on loans that are unsecured, which means that there is no collateral to seize if the underlying borrower defaults.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are motivated to pay off debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the 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 may lose money.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Not all U.S. Government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Obligations of certain agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises of the U.S. Government are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., the Government National Mortgage Association); other obligations are backed by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Banks) and others are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase an agency’s obligations. Still others are backed only by the credit of the agency, authority, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise issuing the obligation. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — The absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them if the issuer defaults.

 

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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 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 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.

Other Risks of Investing in the Fund

The Fund may also be subject to certain other risks associated with its investments and investment strategies, including:

 

 

Borrowing Risk — Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the NAV 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.

 

 

Cyber Security Risk — Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund, the Fund’s adviser, distributor, and other service providers, or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests 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 or issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.

 

 

Expense Risk — Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.

 

 

Illiquid Investments Risk — The Fund’s illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because it may be difficult to sell the illiquid investments at an advantageous time or price. The Fund may be unable to pay redemption proceeds within the time period stated in this prospectus because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, or other reasons.

 

 

Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk — As with other investments, investments in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, are subject to market and selection risk. In addition, if the Fund acquires shares of investment companies, including ones affiliated with the Fund, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of expenses in the Fund (including management and advisory fees) and, indirectly, the expenses of the investment companies (to the extent not offset by BlackRock through waivers to the Fund’s management fees). To the extent the Fund is held by an affiliated fund, the ability of the Fund itself to hold other investment companies may be limited.

 

 

Municipal Securities Risk — Municipal securities risks include the ability of the issuer to repay the obligation, the relative lack of information about certain issuers of municipal securities, and the possibility of future legislative changes which could affect the market for and value of municipal securities. These risks include:

General Obligation Bonds Risks — The full faith, credit and taxing power of the municipality that issues a general obligation bond secures payment of interest and repayment of principal. Timely payments depend on the issuer’s credit quality, ability to raise tax revenues and ability to maintain an adequate tax base.

Revenue Bonds Risks — Payments of interest and principal on revenue bonds are made only from the revenues generated by a particular facility, class of facilities or the proceeds of a special tax or other revenue source. These payments depend on the money earned by the particular facility or class of facilities, or the amount of revenues derived from another source.

Private Activity Bonds Risks — Municipalities and other public authorities issue private activity bonds to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise. The private enterprise pays the principal and interest on the bond, and the issuer does not pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. If the private enterprise defaults on its payments, the Fund may not receive any income or get its money back from the investment.

Moral Obligation Bonds Risks — Moral obligation bonds are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality.

Municipal Notes Risks — Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of, and are secured by, tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the notes may not be fully repaid and the Fund may lose money.

 

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Municipal Lease Obligations Risks — In a municipal lease obligation, the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. The issuer will generally appropriate municipal funds for that purpose, but is not obligated to do so. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property. However, if the issuer does not fulfill its payment obligation it may be difficult to sell the property and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the Fund’s loss.

Tax-Exempt Status Risk — In making investments, the Fund and its investment manager will rely on the opinion of issuers’ bond counsel and, in the case of derivative securities, sponsors’ counsel, on the tax-exempt status of interest on Municipal Obligations and payments under tax-exempt derivative securities. Neither the Fund nor its investment manager will independently review the bases for those tax opinions. If any of those tax opinions are ultimately determined to be incorrect or if events occur after the security is acquired that impact the security’s tax-exempt status, the Fund and its shareholders could be subject to substantial tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has generally not ruled on the taxability of the securities. An assertion by the IRS that a portfolio security is not exempt from U.S. federal income tax (contrary to indications from the issuer) could affect the Fund’s and its shareholder’s income tax liability for the current or past years and could create liability for information reporting penalties. In addition, an IRS assertion of taxability may impair the liquidity and the fair market value of the securities.

 

 

Restricted Securities Risk — Limitations on the resale of restricted securities may have an adverse effect on their marketability, and may prevent the Fund from disposing of them promptly at advantageous prices. Restricted securities may not be listed on an exchange and may have no active trading market. In order to sell such securities, the Fund may have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration. Other transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than unrestricted securities. Restricted securities may be difficult to value because market quotations may not be readily available, and the securities may have significant volatility. Also, the Fund may get only limited information about the issuer of a given restricted security, and therefore may be less able to predict a loss. Certain restricted securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses to the Fund.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk — Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by the Fund with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the other party may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to recover the securities and the value of the collateral held by the Fund, including the value of the investments made with cash collateral, is less than the value of the securities. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences to the Fund.

 

 

Securities Lending Risk — Securities lending involves the risk that the borrower may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. As a result, the Fund may lose money and there may be a delay in recovering the loaned securities. The Fund could also lose money if it does not recover the securities and/or the value of the collateral falls, including the value of investments made with cash collateral. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

 

 

Valuation Risk — The price the Fund could receive upon the sale of any particular portfolio investment may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the investment. 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 than expected loss or lesser than expected gain upon the sale of the investment. Pricing services that value fixed-income securities generally utilize a range of market-based and security-specific inputs and assumptions, as well as considerations about general market conditions, to establish a price. Pricing services generally value fixed-income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but may be held or transactions may be conducted in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than institutional round lots. The Fund’s ability to value its investments may also be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.

 

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Account Information

 

 

 

How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs

 

The Fund currently offers multiple share classes (Investor A and Institutional Shares in this prospectus), each with its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to invest in the way that best suits your needs. Each share class represents an ownership interest in the same investment portfolio of the Fund. When you choose your class of shares, you should consider the size of your investment and how long you plan to hold your shares. Either your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock and its affiliates) (each a “Financial Intermediary”) can help you determine which share class is best suited to your personal financial goals.

If you select Institutional Shares of the Fund, you will not pay any sales charge or service fees. However, only certain investors may buy Institutional Shares. Investor A Shares are subject to an ongoing service fee of 0.25% per year.

The Fund’s shares are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BlackRock.

The table on the following pages summarizes key features of each of the share classes offered by this prospectus.

 

Share Classes at a Glance1
     Investor A   Institutional
Availability   Generally available through Financial Intermediaries.  

Limited to certain investors, including:

•  Individuals and “Institutional Investors,” which include, but are not limited to, endowments, foundations, family offices, local, city and state governmental institutions, corporations and insurance company separate accounts, who may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs), state sponsored 529 college savings plans, collective trust funds, investment companies or other pooled investment vehicles, unaffiliated thrifts and unaffiliated banks and trust companies, each of which may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock or its affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock.

•  Participants in certain programs sponsored by BlackRock or its affiliates or other Financial Intermediaries.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

 

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Share Classes at a Glance1
     Investor A   Institutional
Minimum Investment  

$1,000 for all accounts except:

•  $50, if establishing an Automatic Investment Plan (“AIP”).

•  There is no investment minimum for employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs).

•  There is no investment minimum for certain fee-based programs.

 

There is no investment minimum for:

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs), state sponsored 529 college savings plans, collective trust funds, investment companies or other pooled investment vehicles, unaffiliated thrifts and unaffiliated banks and trust companies.

•  Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock or its affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock.

•  Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such investors a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform.

 

$2 million for individuals and Institutional Investors.

 

$1,000 investment minimum for:

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

Initial Sales Charge?   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.
Deferred Sales Charge?   No. (A CDSC may apply to certain redemptions of Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of a fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates where no initial sales charge was paid at time of purchase of such fund (each, an “Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund”) that assesses a CDSC (which may be charged for purchases of $1 million or more (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) that are redeemed within 18 months)).   No.
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees?  

No Distribution Fee.

0.25% Annual Service Fee.

  No.
Redemption Fees?   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.
Conversion to Investor A Shares?   N/A   No.
Advantage   Generally available to most investors.   No ongoing distribution or shareholder servicing fees.
Disadvantage   You pay ongoing shareholder servicing fees.   Limited availability.

 

1 

Please see “Details About the Share Classes” for more information about each share class.

 

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The following pages will cover the additional details of each share class, including the eligibility requirements for purchasing Institutional Shares, reduced sales charge information, and sales charge waivers.

The availability of certain sales charge waivers and reductions will depend on whether you purchase shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund directly from the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or through a Financial Intermediary before exchanging into shares of the Fund. Financial Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of deferred sales charge waivers, which are discussed below. In all instances, it is your responsibility to notify the applicable Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or your Financial Intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying you for sales charge waivers or reductions. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular Financial Intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund shares directly from the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or through another Financial Intermediary to receive these waivers or reductions. Please see the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, as applicable, to determine any sales charge waivers and reductions that may be available to you through your Financial Intermediary.

More information about existing sales charge reductions and waivers is available free of charge in a clear and prominent format via hyperlink at www.blackrock.com and in the SAI, which is available on the website or on request.

Details About the Share Classes

 

Investor A Shares at Net Asset Value

There is no initial sales charge or CDSC on Investor A Shares of the Fund purchased directly. However, a CDSC of up to 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund where no initial sales charge was paid at time of purchase of such Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund as part of an investment of $1,000,000 (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) or more. If the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund from which you exchanged your shares charges a CDSC less than 1.00%, the lesser CDSC will apply to redemptions of Investor A Shares of the Fund. The CDSC of up to 1.00% is charged on the lesser of the original cost of the shares being redeemed or your redemption proceeds. The Investor A Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor A Shares within 18 months after you originally acquired such Investor A Shares of the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund, unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor A Shares for more than 18 months (as measured from your original purchase of Investor A Shares that you exchanged into Investor A Shares of the Fund). Such CDSC may be waived in connection with certain fee-based programs. For a discussion on waivers, see “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Waivers.” Any CDSC paid upon certain redemptions of Investor A Shares expressed as a percentage of the applicable redemption amount may be higher or lower than the charge described due to rounding.

See the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, to the extent applicable, for CDSC reductions and waivers that may be available to customers of certain Financial Intermediaries. If you are eligible to buy both Investor A and Institutional Shares, you should buy Institutional Shares since Investor A Shares are subject to an annual 0.25% service fee, while Institutional Shares are not. The Distributor normally pays the annual Investor A Shares service fee to dealers as a shareholder servicing fee on a monthly basis.

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Waivers

The deferred sales charge relating to certain redemptions of Investor A Shares may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances, such as:

 

 

Redemptions of shares purchased through certain employer-sponsored retirement plans and rollovers of current investments in the Fund through such plans;

 

 

Exchanges pursuant to the exchange privilege, as described in “How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Shares — How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account”;

 

 

Redemptions made in connection with minimum required distributions from IRA or 403(b)(7) accounts due to the shareholder reaching the age of 7012;

 

 

Certain post-retirement withdrawals from an IRA or other retirement plan if you are over 5912 years old and you purchased your shares prior to October 2, 2006;

 

 

Redemptions made with respect to certain retirement plans sponsored by BlackRock or an affiliate;

 

 

Redemptions resulting from shareholder death as long as the waiver request is made within one year of death or, if later, reasonably promptly following completion of probate (including in connection with the distribution of account assets to a beneficiary of the decedent);

 

 

Withdrawals resulting from shareholder disability (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) as long as the disability arose subsequent to the purchase of the shares;

 

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Involuntary redemptions made of shares in accounts with low balances;

 

 

Certain redemptions made through the Systematic Withdrawal Plan offered by the Fund, BlackRock or an affiliate;

 

 

Redemptions related to the payment of BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company custodial IRA fees; and

 

 

Redemptions when a shareholder can demonstrate hardship, in the absolute discretion of the Fund.

See the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, to the extent applicable, for CDSC reductions and waivers that may be available to customers of certain Financial Intermediaries.

More information about existing sales charge reductions and waivers is available free of charge in a clear and prominent format via hyperlink at www.blackrock.com and in the SAI, which is available on the website or on request.

Institutional Shares

Institutional Shares are not subject to any sales charge. Only certain investors are eligible to buy Institutional Shares. Your Financial Intermediary can help you determine whether you are eligible to buy Institutional Shares. The Fund may permit a lower initial investment for certain investors if their purchase, combined with purchases by other investors received together by the Fund, meets the minimum investment requirement.

Institutional Shares may also be available on certain brokerage platforms. An investor transacting in Institutional Shares on such brokerage platforms through a broker acting as an agent for the investor may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the broker. Shares of the Fund are available in other share classes that have different fees and expenses.

Eligible Institutional Shares investors include the following:

 

 

Individuals and “Institutional Investors” with a minimum initial investment of $2 million who may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares;

 

 

Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform, in each case, with no minimum initial investment;

 

 

Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund, with a minimum initial investment of $1,000;

 

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans, each of which is not subject to any minimum initial investment and may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares;

 

 

Trust department clients of PNC Bank, National Association and Bank of America, N.A. and their affiliates for whom they (i) act in a fiduciary capacity (excluding participant directed employee benefit plans); (ii) otherwise have investment discretion; or (iii) act as custodian for at least $2 million in assets, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment;

 

 

Holders of certain Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”) sponsored unit investment trusts (“UITs”) who reinvest dividends received from such UITs in shares of the Fund, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment;

 

 

Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock, Inc., mutual funds sponsored by BlackRock or its affiliates (“BlackRock Funds”), BofA Corp., The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Barclays PLC (“Barclays”) or their respective affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment; and

 

 

Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

The Fund reserves the right to modify or waive the above-stated policies at any time.

Right of Accumulation

Investors have a “right of accumulation” under which the current value of an investor’s existing Investor A and A1, Investor C, C1, C2 and C3, Investor P, Institutional and Class K Shares in most BlackRock Funds, the current value of an investor’s existing shares of certain unlisted closed-end management investment companies sponsored and advised by BlackRock or its affiliates and the investment in the BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Program by the investor or by or on behalf of the investor’s spouse and children may be combined with the amount of the current purchase in determining whether an investor qualifies for a breakpoint and a reduced front-end sales charge. Financial

 

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Intermediaries may value current holdings of their customers differently for purposes of determining whether an investor qualifies for a breakpoint and a reduced front-end sales charge, although customers of the same Financial Intermediary will be treated similarly. In order to use this right, the investor must alert BlackRock to the existence of any previously purchased shares.

Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments

 

Plan Payments

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has adopted a plan (the “Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act with respect to the Investor A Shares that allows the Fund to pay shareholder servicing fees for certain services provided to its shareholders.

Under the Plan, the Fund pays shareholder servicing fees (also referred to as general shareholder liaison services fees) to Financial Intermediaries for providing support services to their customers who own Investor A Shares of the Fund. The shareholder servicing fee payment is calculated as a percentage of the average daily net asset value of Investor A Shares the Fund. All Investor A Shares pay this shareholder servicing fee.

In return for the shareholder servicing fee, Financial Intermediaries (including BlackRock) may provide one or more of the following services to their customers who own Investor A Shares:

 

 

Answering customer inquiries regarding account status and history, the manner in which purchases, exchanges and redemptions or repurchases of shares may be effected and certain other matters pertaining to the customers’ investments;

 

 

Assisting customers in designating and changing dividend options, account designations and addresses; and

 

 

Providing other similar shareholder liaison services.

The shareholder servicing fees payable pursuant to the Plan are paid to compensate Financial Intermediaries for the administration and servicing of shareholder accounts and are not costs which are primarily intended to result in the sale of the Fund’s shares.

Because the fees paid by the Fund under the Plan are paid out of Fund assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. For more information on the Plan, including a complete list of services provided thereunder, see the SAI.

Other Payments by the Fund

In addition to fees that the Fund may pay to a Financial Intermediary pursuant to the Plan and fees the Fund pays to its transfer agent, BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), BlackRock, on behalf of the Fund, may enter into non-Plan agreements with affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries pursuant to which the Fund will pay a Financial Intermediary for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and/or shareholder services. These non-Plan payments are generally based on either (1) a percentage of the average daily net assets of Fund shareholders serviced by a Financial Intermediary or (2) a fixed dollar amount for each account serviced by a Financial Intermediary. The aggregate amount of these payments may be substantial.

Other Payments by BlackRock

From time to time, BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates also may pay a portion of the fees for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and shareholder services described above at its or their own expense and out of its or their profits. BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may also compensate affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries for the sale and distribution of shares of the Fund. These payments would be in addition to the Fund payments described in this prospectus and may be a fixed dollar amount, may be based on the number of customer accounts maintained by the Financial Intermediary, may be based on a percentage of the value of shares sold to, or held by, customers of the Financial Intermediary or may be calculated on another basis. The aggregate amount of these payments by BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may be substantial and, in some circumstances, may create an incentive for a Financial Intermediary, its employees or associated persons to recommend or sell shares of the Fund to you.

Please contact your Financial Intermediary for details about payments it may receive from the Fund or from BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates. For more information, see the SAI.

How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Shares

 

The chart on the following pages summarizes how to buy, sell, exchange and transfer shares through your Financial Intermediary. You may also buy, sell, exchange and transfer shares through BlackRock, if your account is held directly with BlackRock. To learn more about buying, selling, exchanging or transferring shares through BlackRock, call (800) 441-7762. Because the selection of a mutual fund involves many considerations, your Financial Intermediary may help you with this decision.

 

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With certain limited exceptions, the Fund is generally available only to investors residing in the United States and may not be distributed by a foreign Financial Intermediary. Under this policy, in order to accept new accounts or additional investments (including by way of exchange from another mutual fund sponsored and advised by BlackRock or its affiliates (a “BlackRock Fund”) into existing accounts, the Fund generally requires that (i) a shareholder that is a natural person be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, in each case residing within the United States or a U.S. territory (including APO/FPO/DPO addresses), and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number, and (ii) a Financial Intermediary or a shareholder that is an entity be domiciled in the United States and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or be domiciled in a U.S. territory and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or IRS Form W-8. Any existing account that is updated to reflect a non-U.S. address will also be restricted from making additional investments.

The Fund may reject any purchase order, modify or waive the minimum initial or subsequent investment requirements for any shareholders and suspend and resume the sale of any share class of the Fund at any time for any reason. In addition, the Fund may waive certain requirements regarding the purchase, sale, exchange or transfer of shares described below.

Under certain circumstances, if no activity occurs in an account within a time period specified by state law, a shareholder’s shares in the Fund may be transferred to that state.

 

How to Buy Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Initial Purchase   First, select the share class appropriate for you       Refer to the “Share Classes at a Glance” table in this prospectus (be sure to read this prospectus carefully). When you place your initial order, you must indicate which share class you select (if you do not specify a share class and do not qualify to purchase Institutional Shares, you will receive Investor A Shares). Certain factors, such as the amount of your investment, your time frame for investing, and your financial goals, may affect which share class you choose. Your Financial Intermediary can help you determine which share class is appropriate for you.
  Next, determine the amount of your investment       Refer to the minimum initial investment in the “Share Classes at a Glance” table of this prospectus. See “Account Information — Details About the Share Classes” for information on a lower initial investment requirement for certain Fund investors if their purchase, combined with purchases by other investors received together by the Fund, meets the minimum investment requirement.
    Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order      

Purchase orders received by the Fund’s transfer agent, BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends. Certain Financial Intermediaries, however, may require submission of orders prior to that time. Purchase orders placed after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will not be transmitted by the Fund’s internet-based order entry program. Account holders may transmit their trades during the next time window when internet-based trading resumes. The Fund also reserves the right to limit the amount of such orders or to reject an order for any reason.

 

NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will not be priced on days the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the NYSE is closed due to an emergency.

 

Purchase orders placed after 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) will be priced at the NAV determined on the next business day.

 

A broker-dealer or financial institution maintaining the account in which you hold shares may charge a separate account, service or transaction fee on the purchase or sale of Fund shares that would be in addition to the fees and expenses shown in the Fund’s “Fees and Expenses” table.

 

The Fund may reject any order to buy shares and may suspend the sale of shares at any time, including when a redemption gate is in place (see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below). Certain Financial Intermediaries may charge a processing fee to confirm a purchase.

 

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How to Buy Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Initial Purchase (continued)   Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock)       To purchase shares directly from BlackRock, call (800) 441-7762 and request a new account application. Mail the completed application along with a check payable to BlackRock Funds to the Transfer Agent, at the address on the application.
Add to Your Investment   Purchase additional shares       For Investor A Shares, the minimum investment for additional purchases is generally $50 for all accounts (with the exception of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans which may have a lower minimum for additional purchase). The minimums for additional purchases may be waived under certain circumstances. Institutional Shares have no minimum for additional purchases.
  Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order for additional shares       To purchase additional shares you may contact your Financial Intermediary. For more details on purchasing by Internet see below.
  Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock)      

Purchase by Telephone: Call (800) 441-7762 and speak with one of our representatives. The Fund has the right to reject any telephone request for any reason.

 

Purchase in Writing: You may send a written request to BlackRock at the address on the back cover of this prospectus.

 

Purchase by VRU: Investor A Shares may also be purchased by use of the Fund’s automated voice response unit (“VRU”) service at (800) 441-7762.

 

Purchase by Internet: You may purchase your shares, and view activity in your account, by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com/cash. Purchases made on the Internet using Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) will have a trade date that is the day after the purchase is made.

 

Certain clients’ purchase orders of Institutional Shares placed prior to the close of business will be priced at the NAV determined that day. Purchase orders placed after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will not be transmitted by the Fund’s internet-based order entry program. Account holders may transmit their trades during the next time window when internet-based trading resumes. The Fund also reserves the right to limit the amount of such orders or to reject an order for any reason. Contact your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock for further information. Limits on amounts that may be purchased via Internet may vary. For additional information, call BlackRock at (800) 441-7762. Please read the On-Line Services Disclosure Statement and User Agreement, the Terms and Conditions page and the Consent to Electronic Delivery Agreement (if you consent to electronic delivery), before attempting to transact online. The Fund employs reasonable procedures to confirm that transactions entered over the Internet are genuine. By entering into the User Agreement with the Fund in order to open an account through the website, the shareholder waives any right to reclaim any losses from the Fund or any of its affiliates, incurred through fraudulent activity.

  Acquire additional shares by reinvesting dividends and capital gains       All dividends and capital gains distributions are automatically reinvested without a sales charge. To make any changes to your dividend and/or capital gains distributions options, please call (800) 441-7762, or contact your Financial Intermediary (if your account is not held directly with BlackRock).
    Participate in the Automatic Investment Plan (“AIP”)       BlackRock’s AIP allows you to invest a specific amount on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account into your investment account. Refer to the “Account Services and Privileges” section of this prospectus for additional information. If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to automatically invest through the AIP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.
How to Pay for Shares   Making payment for purchases       Payment for an order must be made in Federal funds or other immediately available funds by the time specified by your Financial Intermediary, but in no event later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)). If payment is not received by

 

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How to Buy Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
How to Pay for Shares (continued)   Making payment for purchases (continued)       this time, the order will be canceled and you and your Financial Intermediary will be responsible for any loss to the Fund. For shares purchased directly from the Fund, a check payable to BlackRock Funds which bears the name of the Fund must accompany a completed purchase application. There is a $20 fee for each purchase check that is returned due to insufficient funds. The Fund does not accept third-party checks. You may also wire Federal funds to the Transfer Agent to purchase shares, but you must call (800) 441-7762 before doing so to confirm the wiring instructions.
How to Sell Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial Redemption of Shares   Have your Financial Intermediary submit your sales order       You can make redemption requests through your Financial Intermediary. Shareholders should indicate whether they are redeeming Investor A or Institutional Shares. The price of your shares is based on the next calculation of the Fund’s NAV after your order is placed. For your redemption request to be priced at the NAV on the day of your request, you must submit your request to your Financial Intermediary prior to that day’s close of business (generally, 3:00 p.m. Eastern time). Certain Financial Intermediaries, however, may require submission of orders prior to that time. Any redemption request placed after that time will be priced at the NAV at the close of business on the next business day. Financial Intermediaries may charge a fee to process a redemption of shares. Shareholders should indicate which class of shares they are redeeming. The Fund may reject an order to sell shares under certain circumstances. Redemption orders placed after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will not be transmitted by the Fund’s internet-based order entry program. Account holders may transmit their trades during the next time window when internet-based trading resumes. Shareholders placing orders through a Financial Intermediary are responsible for making certain that their Financial Intermediary communicates the order to the Fund’s office no later than the stated deadline. The Fund reserves the right to limit the amount of such orders that will be paid on the same day.
    Selling shares held directly with BlackRock      

Methods of Redeeming

Redeem by Telephone: You may sell Investor A Shares held at BlackRock by telephone request if certain conditions are met and if the amount being sold is less than (i) $100,000 for payments by check or (ii) $250,000 for payments through ACH or wire transfer. Certain redemption requests, such as those in excess of these amounts, must be in writing with a medallion signature guarantee. For Institutional Shares, certain redemption requests may require written instructions with a medallion signature guarantee. Call (800) 441-7762 for details. You can obtain a medallion signature guarantee stamp from a bank, securities dealer, securities broker, credit union, savings and loan association, national securities exchange or registered securities association. A notary public seal will not be acceptable.

 

The Fund, its administrators and the Distributor will employ reasonable procedures to confirm that instructions communicated by telephone are genuine. The Fund and its service providers will not be liable for any loss, liability, cost or expense for acting upon telephone instructions that are reasonably believed to be genuine in accordance with such procedures. The Fund may refuse a telephone redemption request if it believes it is advisable to do so. During periods of substantial economic or market change, telephone redemptions may be difficult to complete. Please find alternative redemption methods below.

 

Redeem by VRU: Investor A Shares may also be redeemed by use of the Fund’s automated VRU service. Proceeds for Investor A Shares redeemed by the VRU service may be paid for non-retirement accounts in amounts up to $25,000, either through check, ACH or wire. If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to use the automated VRU service to redeem shares of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem

 

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How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial Redemption of Shares (continued)   Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)      

shares of the Fund as otherwise described in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

 

Redeem by Internet: You may redeem in your account, by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com/cash. Proceeds from Internet redemptions may be sent via check, ACH or wire to the bank account of record. Redemption orders placed after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will not be transmitted by the Fund’s internet-based order entry program. Account holders may transmit their trades during the next time window when internet-based trading resumes. The Fund reserves the right to limit the amount of such orders that will be paid on the same day. Proceeds for Investor A Shares redeemed by Internet may be paid for non-retirement accounts in amounts up to $25,000, either through check, ACH or wire. Different maximums may apply to investors in Institutional Shares.

 

Redeem in Writing: You may sell shares held at BlackRock by writing to BlackRock. All shareholders on the account must sign the letter. A medallion signature guarantee will generally be required but may be waived in certain limited circumstances. You can obtain a medallion signature guarantee stamp from a bank, securities dealer, securities broker, credit union, savings and loan association, national securities exchange or registered securities association. A notary public seal will not be acceptable. If you hold stock certificates, return the certificates with the letter. Proceeds from redemptions may be sent via check, ACH or wire to the bank account of record.

 

Payment of Redemption Proceeds

Redemption proceeds may be paid by check or, if the Fund has verified banking information on file, through ACH or by wire transfer.

 

Payment by Check: BlackRock will typically mail redemption proceeds one business day following receipt of a properly completed request, but in any event, within seven days. Shares can be redeemed by telephone and the proceeds sent by check to the shareholder at the address on record. Shareholders will pay $15 for redemption proceeds sent by check via overnight mail. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for this service.

 

The Fund reserves the right to reinvest any dividend or distribution amounts (e.g., income dividends or capital gains) which you have elected to receive by check should your check be returned as undeliverable or remain uncashed for more than 6 months. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed checks. Your check will be reinvested in your account at the NAV next calculated, on the day of the investment. When reinvested, those amounts are subject to the risk of loss like any fund investment. If you elect to receive distributions in cash and a check remains undeliverable or uncashed for more than 6 months, your cash election may also be changed automatically to reinvest and your future dividend and capital gains distributions will be reinvested in the Fund at the NAV as of the date of payment of the distribution.

 

Payment by Wire Transfer: Proceeds for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is received before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day are normally paid in Federal funds wired to the redeeming shareholder on the same business day, provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Proceeds for redemption orders received on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed are normally wired in Federal funds on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business. The Fund reserves the right to wire redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund.

 

If a shareholder has given authorization for expedited redemption, shares can be redeemed by Federal wire transfer to a single previously designated bank account. Shareholders will pay $7.50 for redemption

 

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How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial Redemption of Shares (continued)   Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)      

proceeds sent by Federal wire transfer. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for this service. No charge for wiring redemption payments with respect to Institutional Shares is imposed by the Fund.

 

The Fund is not responsible for the efficiency of the Federal wire system or the shareholder’s firm or bank. To change the name of the single, designated bank account to receive wire redemption proceeds, it is necessary to send a written request to the Fund at the address on the back cover of this prospectus.

 

Payment by ACH: Redemption proceeds may be sent to the shareholder’s bank account (checking or savings) via ACH. Payment for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is received before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day is normally sent to the redeeming shareholder the next business day, with receipt at the receiving bank within the next two business days (48-72 hours), provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Payment for redemption orders received after 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) or on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed is normally sent on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business.

 

The Fund reserves the right to send redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund. No charge for sending redemption payments via ACH is imposed by the Fund.

 

* * *

 

If you make a redemption request before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares, the Fund may delay mailing your proceeds. This delay will usually not exceed ten days. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for more information.

 

Under normal and stressed market conditions, the Fund typically expects to meet redemption requests by using cash or cash equivalents in its portfolio or by selling portfolio assets to generate additional cash.

How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Exchange Privilege   Selling shares of one BlackRock Fund to purchase shares of another BlackRock Fund (“exchanging”)      

Investor A and Institutional Shares of the Fund are generally exchangeable for shares of the same class of another BlackRock Fund, to the extent such shares are offered by your Financial Intermediary.

You can exchange $1,000 or more of Investor A Shares from one fund into the same class of another fund which offers that class of shares (you can exchange less than $1,000 of Investor A Shares if you already have an account in the fund into which you are exchanging). Investors who currently own Institutional Shares of the Fund may make exchanges into Institutional Shares of other BlackRock Funds except for investors holding shares through certain client accounts at Financial Intermediaries that are omnibus with the Fund and do not meet applicable minimums. There is no required minimum amount with respect to exchanges of Institutional Shares.

 

You may only exchange into a share class and fund that are open to new investors or in which you have a current account if the fund is closed to new investors. Some of the BlackRock Funds impose a sales charge. Therefore the exchange of Investor A Shares may be subject to that sales charge. Investor A Shares of the Fund that were obtained with the exchange privilege and that originally were shares of a BlackRock Fund that were subject to a sales charge can be exchanged for Investor A Shares of another Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund based on their respective NAVs. The contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) will continue to be measured from the date of the original purchase. The CDSC schedule applicable to your original purchase will apply to the shares you receive in the exchange and any subsequent exchange. To

 

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How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Exchange Privilege (continued)   Selling shares of one BlackRock Fund to purchase shares of another BlackRock Fund (“exchanging”) (continued)      

exercise the exchange privilege, you may contact your Financial Intermediary. Alternatively, if your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may: (i) call (800) 441-7762 and speak with one of our representatives, (ii) make the exchange via the Internet by accessing your account online at www.blackrock.com/cash, or (iii) send a written request to the Fund at the address on the back cover of this prospectus. Please note, if you indicated on your new account application that you did not want the Telephone Exchange Privilege, you will not be able to place exchanges via the telephone until you update this option either in writing or by calling (800) 441-7762. The Fund has the right to reject any telephone request for any reason.

 

Although there is currently no limit on the number of exchanges that you can make, the exchange privilege may be modified or terminated at any time in the future. The Fund may suspend or terminate your exchange privilege at any time for any reason, including if the Fund believes, in its sole discretion, that you are engaging in market timing activities. See “Short-Term Trading Policy” below. For U.S. federal income tax purposes a share exchange is a taxable event and a capital gain or loss may be realized. Please consult your tax adviser or other Financial Intermediary before making an exchange request.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to exchange into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided, however, that you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Transfer Shares to Another Financial Intermediary   Transfer to a participating Financial Intermediary      

You may transfer your shares of the Fund only to another Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor. Certain shareholder services may not be available for the transferred shares. All future trading of these assets must be coordinated by the receiving firm.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 441-7762 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of shares.

    Transfer to a non-participating Financial Intermediary      

You must either:

•  Transfer your shares to an account with the Fund; or

•  Sell your shares, paying any applicable fees or deferred sales charge.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 441-7762 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of shares.

Account Services and Privileges

 

The following table provides examples of account services and privileges available in your BlackRock account. Certain of these account services and privileges are only available to shareholders of Investor A Shares whose accounts are held directly with BlackRock. If your account is held directly with BlackRock, please call (800) 441-7762 or visit www.blackrock.com/cash for additional information as well as forms and applications. Otherwise, please contact your Financial Intermediary for assistance in requesting one or more of the following services and privileges.

 

Automatic Investment Plan   Allows systematic investments on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account.      

BlackRock’s AIP allows you to invest a specific amount on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account into your investment account. You may apply for this option upon account opening or by completing the AIP application. The minimum investment amount for an automatic investment is $50 per portfolio.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to automatically invest through the AIP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

 

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Dividend Allocation Plan   Automatically invests your distributions into another BlackRock Fund of your choice pursuant to your instructions, without any fees or sales charges       Dividend and capital gains distributions may be reinvested in your account to purchase additional shares or paid in cash. Using the Dividend Allocation Plan, you can direct your distributions to your bank account (checking or savings), to purchase shares of another fund at BlackRock without any fees or sales charges, or by check to a special payee. Please call (800) 441-7762 for details. If investing in another fund at BlackRock, the receiving fund must be open to new purchases.
EZ Trader   Allows an investor to purchase or sell Investor A Shares by telephone or over the Internet through ACH.      

(NOTE: This option is offered to shareholders whose accounts are held directly with BlackRock. Please speak with your Financial Intermediary if your account is held elsewhere).

 

Prior to establishing an EZ Trader account, please contact your bank to confirm that it is a member of the ACH system. Once confirmed, complete an application, making sure to include the appropriate bank information, and return the application to the address listed on the form.

 

Prior to placing a telephone or internet purchase or sale order, please call (800) 441-7762 to confirm that your bank information has been updated on your account. Once this is established, you may place your request to sell shares with the Fund by telephone or Internet. Proceeds will be sent to your pre-designated bank account.

Systematic Exchange Plan   This feature can be used by investors to systematically exchange money from one fund to up to four other funds      

A minimum of $10,000 in the initial BlackRock Fund is required and investments in any additional funds must meet minimum initial investment requirements.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to use the Systematic Exchange Plan to exchange into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan (“SWP”)   This feature can be used by investors who want to receive regular distributions from their accounts      

To start a SWP a shareholder must have a current investment of $10,000 or more in a BlackRock Fund.

 

Shareholders can elect to receive cash payments of $50 or more at any interval they choose. Shareholders may sign up by completing the SWP Application Form which may be obtained from BlackRock. Shareholders should realize that if withdrawals exceed income the invested principal in their account will be depleted.

 

To participate in the SWP, shareholders must have their dividends reinvested. Shareholders may change or cancel the SWP at any time, with a minimum of 24 hours notice. If a shareholder purchases additional Investor A Shares of a BlackRock Fund at the same time he or she redeems shares through the SWP, that investor may lose money because of the sales charge involved. No CDSC will be assessed on redemptions of Investor A Shares made through the SWP that do not exceed 12% of the account’s NAV on an annualized basis. For example, monthly, quarterly and semi-annual SWP redemptions of Investor A Shares will not be subject to the CDSC if they do not exceed 1%, 3% and 6%, respectively, of an account’s NAV on the redemption date. SWP redemptions of Investor A Shares in excess of this limit will still pay any applicable CDSC.

 

Ask your Financial Intermediary for details.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or redemption gate, you will not be permitted to systematically withdraw your shares through the SWP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

 

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Fund’s Rights

 

The Fund may:

 

 

Suspend the right of redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the NYSE or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act;

 

 

Postpone the date of payment upon redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the NYSE or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act or if a redemption request is made before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares;

 

 

Redeem shares for property other than cash as may be permitted under the Investment Company Act; and

 

 

Redeem shares involuntarily in certain cases, such as when the value of a shareholder account falls below a specified level.

Suspension of Redemptions Upon Liquidation. If the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Investment Company Act, determines that the Fund has invested, at the end of a business day, less than 10% of its total assets in weekly liquid assets, then the Board, subject to certain conditions, may, where the Board has determined to liquidate the Fund irrevocably, suspend redemptions and payment of redemption proceeds in order to facilitate the permanent liquidation of the Fund in an orderly manner. If this were to occur, it would likely result in a delay in your receipt of your redemption proceeds.

Note on Low Balance Accounts. Because of the high cost of maintaining smaller shareholder accounts, BlackRock has set a minimum balance of $500 in each Fund position you hold within your account (the “Fund Minimum”), and may redeem the shares in your account if the NAV of those shares in your account falls below $500 for any reason, including market fluctuation.

You will be notified that the value of your account is less than the Fund Minimum before the Fund makes any involuntary redemption. This notification will provide you with a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment in order to bring the value of your account to at least $500 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption. This involuntary redemption will not charge any deferred sales charge, and may not apply to accounts of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including IRAs), qualified state tuition plan (529 Plan) accounts, and select fee-based programs at your Financial Intermediary.

Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates

 

Under Rule 2a-7, the Board is permitted to impose a liquidity fee up to 2% on the value of shares redeemed or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period, in the event that the Fund’s weekly liquid assets fall below the following thresholds:

 

 

30% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets, and the Board determines it is in the best interests of the Fund, the Board may impose at any time, and as early as the same day, a liquidity fee of up to 2% of the amount redeemed, or a redemption gate that temporarily suspends the right of redemption.

 

 

10% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 10% of the Fund’s total assets as of the end of a business day, the Board will impose, at the beginning of the next business day, a liquidity fee of 1% of the amount redeemed, unless the Board determines that imposing such a fee would not be in the best interests of the Fund or determines that a lower or higher fee (not to exceed 2%) would be in the best interests of the Fund.

Liquidity fees and redemption gates, if imposed, may be terminated at any time in the discretion of the Board. Liquidity fees and redemption gates will also automatically terminate at the beginning of the next business day once the Fund has invested 30% or more of its total assets in weekly liquid assets as of the end of a business day.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee, the fee will be used to help boost the weekly liquid assets of the Fund. The Fund may not accept purchases during the period that a liquidity fee has been imposed.

If the Board imposes a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept purchase or redemption orders until the Fund has notified shareholders that the redemption gate has been lifted. Any purchase or redemption orders submitted while a redemption gate is in effect will be cancelled without further notice. If you still wish to purchase or redeem shares once the redemption gate has been lifted, you will need to submit a new purchase or redemption request to the Fund or your Financial Intermediary. If a purchase or redemption order is received after the applicable deadline of the Fund, but prior to the imposition of a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, such order will be cancelled without further notice.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept exchange orders into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted.

 

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Under certain circumstances, the Fund may honor redemption or exchange orders (or pay redemptions without adding a liquidity fee to the redemption amount) if the Fund can verify that the redemption or exchange order was submitted to the Fund’s authorized agent before the Board imposed a liquidity fee or suspended redemptions.

The Board generally expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would be imposed, if at all, during periods of extraordinary market stress. The Board expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would typically be imposed only after the Fund has notified Financial Intermediaries and shareholders that a liquidity fee or redemption gate will be imposed (which may not be until the beginning of the next business day following the announcement that the Board has imposed the liquidity fee or redemption gate). However, the Board may, in its discretion, impose a liquidity fee or redemption gate at any time after the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets.

Announcements regarding the imposition of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, or the termination of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, will be filed with the SEC on Form N-CR and will be available on the website of the Fund (www.blackrock.com/cash). In addition, the Fund will make such announcements through a supplement to its registration statement and may further communicate such actions through other means.

Financial Intermediaries will be required promptly to take such actions reasonably requested by the Fund or its agent to implement, modify or remove, or to assist the Fund in implementing, modifying or removing, a liquidity fee or redemption gate established by the Board.

Participation in Fee-Based Programs

 

If you participate in certain fee-based programs offered by BlackRock or an affiliate of BlackRock or by Financial Intermediaries that have agreements with the Distributor, you may be able to buy Institutional Shares, including by exchange from other share classes. Sales charges on the shares being exchanged may be reduced or waived under certain circumstances. You generally cannot transfer shares held through a fee-based program into another account. Instead, you will have to redeem your shares held through the program and purchase shares of another class, which may be subject to distribution and service fees. This may be a taxable event and you will pay any applicable sales charges or redemption fees.

Shareholders that participate in a fee-based program generally have two options at termination. The program can be terminated and the shares liquidated, or the program can be terminated and the shares held in an account. In general, when a shareholder chooses to continue to hold the shares, whatever share class was held in the program can be held after termination. Shares that have been held for less than specified periods within the program may be subject to a fee upon redemption. Shareholders that held Investor A or Institutional Shares in the program are eligible to purchase additional shares of the respective share class of the Fund, but may be subject to upfront sales charges with respect to Investor A Shares. Additional purchases of Institutional Shares are permitted only if you have an existing position at the time of purchase or are otherwise eligible to purchase Institutional Shares.

Details about these features and the relevant charges are included in the client agreement for each fee-based program and are available from your Financial Intermediary.

Short-Term Trading Policy

 

Market timing is an investment technique involving frequent short-term trading of mutual fund shares designed to exploit market movements or inefficiencies in the way a mutual fund prices its shares. The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders and has determined that due to (i) the nature of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and (ii) the nature of the Fund’s shareholders, it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by the Fund’s shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time the Fund by shareholders would result in a negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders. As a result, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures to deter short-term trading in the Fund. There can be no assurances, however, that the Fund may not, on occasion, serve as a temporary or short-term investment vehicle for those who seek to market time funds offered by other investment companies.

Master/Feeder Structure

 

The Fund may in the future determine to become a “feeder” fund that invests all of its assets in another open-end investment company (a “master fund”) that has the same investment objective and strategies as the Fund. This structure is sometimes called a “master/feeder” structure. Investors in a feeder fund will acquire an indirect interest in the corresponding master fund. In a master/feeder structure, all investments will be made at the master level and the Fund’s investment results will correspond directly to the investment results of the underlying master in which it invests. A feeder fund may withdraw from its master fund at any time and may invest all of its assets in another pooled investment vehicle or retain an investment adviser to manage its assets directly.

 

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A master fund may accept investments from other feeder funds, and all the feeder funds of a given master fund bear the master fund’s expenses in proportion to their assets. This structure may enable the feeder funds to reduce costs through economies of scale. A larger investment portfolio may also reduce certain transaction costs to the extent that contributions to and redemptions from a master fund from different feeder funds may offset each other and produce a lower net cash flow.

However, each feeder fund can set its own transaction minimums, fund specific expenses, and other conditions. This means that one feeder fund could offer access to the same master fund on more attractive terms, or could experience better performance, than another feeder fund. In addition, large purchases or redemptions by one feeder fund could negatively affect the performance of other feeder funds that invest in the same master fund.

Whenever a master fund holds a vote of its feeder funds, a fund that is a feeder fund investing in that master fund will pass the vote through to its own shareholders. Smaller feeder funds may be harmed by the actions of larger feeder funds. For example, a larger feeder fund could have more voting power than a fund that is a feeder fund over the operations of its master fund.

 

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Management of the Fund

 

 

 

BlackRock

 

BlackRock, the Fund’s investment adviser, manages the Fund’s investments and its business operations subject to the oversight of the Board. While BlackRock is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the trading, research and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management with respect to certain portfolio securities. BlackRock is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, a registered investment adviser, was organized in 1994 to perform advisory services for investment companies. BlackRock and its affiliates had approximately $5.975 trillion in investment company and other portfolio assets under management as of December 31, 2018.

BlackRock serves as manager to the Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement (the “Management Agreement”), which provides that BlackRock is entitled to receive for the services it provides to the Fund a fee at the annual rate of [    ]% of the average daily net assets of the Fund computed daily and payable monthly. BlackRock is responsible for the day to day management of the Fund’s portfolio.

BlackRock has contractually agreed to cap Miscellaneous Other Expenses (excluding: (i) interest, taxes, dividends tied to short sales, brokerage commissions, and other expenditures which are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (ii) expenses incurred directly or indirectly by the Fund as a result of investments in other investment companies and pooled investment vehicles; (iii) other expenses attributable to, and incurred as a result of, the Fund’s investments; and (iv) extraordinary expenses (including litigation expenses) not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, if any) of each share class of the Fund at the levels shown below and in the Fund’s fees and expenses table in the “Fund Overview” section of this prospectus. Items (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) in the preceding sentence are referred to in this prospectus as “Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses.” To achieve these expense caps, BlackRock has agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses if the Miscellaneous Other Expenses exceed a certain limit.

With respect to the Fund, BlackRock has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Miscellaneous Other Expenses to the amounts noted in the table below.

 

      Contractual Caps1
on Miscellaneous
Other Expenses2
(excluding
Dividend Expense,
Interest Expense,
Acquired Fund
Fees and Expenses
and certain other
Fund expenses)

Investor A

       [     ]%

Institutional

       [     ]%

1.   The contractual caps are in effect through [    ]. The contractual agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

2.   As a percentage of average daily net assets.

 

 

BlackRock and the Distributor have voluntarily agreed to waive a portion of their respective fees and/or reimburse operating expenses to enable the Fund to maintain minimum levels of daily net investment income. BlackRock and the Distributor may discontinue this voluntary waiver and/or reimbursement at any time without notice.

A discussion of the basis for the Board’s approval of the Management Agreement with BlackRock will be included in the Fund’s first shareholder report following commencement of operations.

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.

 

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BlackRock or its affiliates will use at least 5% of BlackRock’s net revenue from its management fee from the Fund to purchase and then retire carbon offsets either directly or through a third-party organization. These purchases will be made at least annually, with BlackRock maintaining the option to increase, decrease or terminate these purchases in its sole discretion at any time.

Additionally, BlackRock may at its discretion enter into a license agreement (a “License Agreement”) with one or more charitable organizations that is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 from time to time. Pursuant to the relevant License Agreement, the charitable organization would grant BlackRock a license permitting BlackRock to use the charitable organization’s name and logo. BlackRock will pay a license fee to each such charitable organization for such use.

No charitable organization will provide any investment advisory services to BlackRock or the Fund or participate in, or have any influence on, the day-to-day operations of, 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 Investment Company 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 received by the Defendants in the period beginning one year prior to the filing of the lawsuit and ending on the date of judgment, along with 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

 

The investment activities of BlackRock and its affiliates (including BlackRock, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Affiliates”)) and their directors, officers and employees and of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (which, through a subsidiary, has a significant economic interest in BlackRock, Inc.) and its subsidiaries (each with The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., an “Entity” and collectively, the “Entities”) 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.

BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow investment programs similar to that of the Fund. BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities 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. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities act 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, index provider, agent and/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 an Affiliate or an Entity performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. Specifically, the Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an Affiliate or an Entity has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate or an Entity has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund may also invest in issuances (such as structured notes) by entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides and is compensated for cash management services relating to the proceeds from the sale of such issuances. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate or Entity may have business relationships with, and purchase, or 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 Entities in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities 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. This may include transactions in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies (which may include investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BlackRock, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act). The trading activities of BlackRock and these Affiliates or Entities are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity having positions in certain securities that are senior or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by the Fund.

 

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Neither BlackRock nor any 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. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, 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.

In addition, the Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity or their directors, officers or employees or other clients have an adverse interest. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by clients advised or managed by BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more clients or BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities or their directors, officers or employees, 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 BlackRock, one or more Affiliates or Entities and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions.

Under a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund has retained BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, an Affiliate of BlackRock, to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the securities lending agent will receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates or Entities may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BlackRock, its Affiliates and Entities and their respective directors, officers or employees, may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BlackRock has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the SAI for further information.

Valuation of Fund Investments

 

When you buy shares, you pay the NAV. This is the offering price. Shares are also redeemed at their NAV, minus any applicable deferred sales charge or redemption fee. The Fund calculates the NAV of each class of its shares generally as of 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, based on prices at such time. Shares will not be priced on days the NYSE or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The NAV used in determining your share price is the next one calculated after your purchase or redemption order is received by the Transfer Agent.

The Fund values portfolio securities generally 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 procedures approved by the Board. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values. The Fund may value short-term debt securities with remaining maturities of 60 days or less on the basis of amortized cost.

When valuations are not readily available or are not believed by BlackRock to be reliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BlackRock in accordance with procedures approved by the Board. BlackRock may conclude, for example, that a market 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, if BlackRock believes a market quotation from a broker-dealer or other source is unreliable, where the security or other asset is thinly traded or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent valuation. For this purpose, a “significant event” is deemed to occur if BlackRock determines, in its business judgment prior to or at the time of pricing the Fund’s assets or liabilities, that it is likely that the event will cause a material change to the last valuation or price of one or more assets or liabilities held by the Fund. If such event occurs, those instruments may be fair valued.

Fair value represents 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 NAV.

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Distributions of net investment income derived by the Fund, if any, are declared daily and paid at least monthly and net realized capital gains, if any, will be distributed at least annually. Dividends will be reinvested automatically in the form of additional shares of the same class of the Fund at NAV without a sales charge, unless you instruct the Transfer Agent in writing to pay them in cash. Dividends that are declared but unpaid will remain in the gross assets of the Fund and will, therefore, continue to earn income for the Fund’s shareholders. Shareholders redeeming their shares will receive all dividends declared through the date immediately preceding the date of redemption. The Fund anticipates that a significant amount of the distributions may be taxed as ordinary income, although the Fund may distribute capital gains as well. Capital gains may be taxable to you at different rates depending on how long the Fund held the assets sold.

 

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You will pay tax on dividends from the Fund whether you receive them in cash or additional shares. If you redeem Fund shares or exchange them for shares of another fund, except as discussed below you generally will be treated as having sold your shares and any gain on the transaction may be subject to tax. Fund distributions derived from qualified dividend income, which consists of dividends received from U.S. corporations and qualifying foreign corporations, and from long-term capital gains are eligible for taxation at a maximum rate of 15% or 20% for individuals, depending on whether their income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are adjusted annually for inflation.

Because the Fund offers and redeems its shares using a floating NAV, a redeeming shareholder may realize gains and losses because of differences between the NAV at which shares are acquired and the NAV at which shares are redeemed. Ordinarily, any gains and losses realized would have to be accounted for separately. In addition, because of the so-called “wash sale” rules, any loss realized by a shareholder on a redemption of Fund shares would ordinarily be disallowed to the extent such shareholder acquired new shares of the Fund within 30 days before or after such a redemption.

The Treasury Department and IRS have determined not to apply the wash sale rules to the redemption of investment company shares if the investment company is regulated as, and holds itself out as, a money market fund under Rule 2a-7 of the Investment Company Act and has a floating rate NAV at the time of redemption. In addition, a shareholder in a money market fund may elect to adopt a simplified, aggregate accounting method under which gains and losses can be netted based on the shareholder’s taxable year rather than reported separately. Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors before deciding to adopt such accounting method.

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee on share redemptions because of a drop in the Fund’s weekly liquid assets below certain levels, the amount that would ordinarily be payable to a redeeming shareholder of the Fund will be reduced, consequently reducing the amount of gain, or increasing the amount of loss, that would otherwise be reportable for income tax purposes. The liquidity fee cannot be separately claimed as a deduction.

Any such liquidity fee will constitute an asset of the Fund and will serve to benefit non-redeeming shareholders. However, the Fund does not intend to distribute such fees to non-redeeming shareholders. Such fees may, however, raise the Fund’s NAV, increasing the taxable income or reducing the deductible losses of shareholders that redeem their shares at a later time when such fees are not being charged. If the Fund receives liquidity fees, it will consider the appropriate tax treatment of such fees to the Fund at such time.

A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on the net investment income (which includes, but is 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 trusts and estates.

Your dividends and redemption proceeds will be subject to backup withholding tax if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or the number you have provided is incorrect.

If you are neither a tax resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity (other than a pass-through entity to the extent owned by U.S. persons), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies. However, certain distributions reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends, interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends and paid to a foreign shareholder may be eligible for an exemption from U.S. withholding tax.

Separately, a 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) certain foreign financial institutions and investment funds, and (ii) certain other foreign entities. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions and investment funds will generally either need to (a) collect and report to the IRS detailed information identifying their U.S. accounts and U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures for identifying U.S. accounts and withhold tax on certain payments made to noncomplying foreign entities and account holders or (b) if an intergovernmental agreement is entered into and implementing legislation is adopted, comply with the agreement and legislation. Other foreign entities will generally either need to provide detailed information identifying each substantial U.S. owner or certify there are no such owners.

This section summarizes some of the consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for individualized tax advice. Consult your tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

 

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Financial Highlights

 

The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus. As a result, no financial performance information is available.

 

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General Information

 

 

 

Shareholder Documents

 

Electronic Access to Annual Reports, Semi-Annual Reports and Prospectuses

Electronic copies of most financial reports and prospectuses are available on BlackRock’s website.

Delivery of Shareholder Documents

The Fund delivers only one copy of shareholder documents, including prospectuses, shareholder reports and proxy statements, to shareholders with multiple accounts at the same address. This practice is known as “householding” and is intended to eliminate duplicate mailings and reduce expenses. Mailings of your shareholder documents may be householded indefinitely unless you instruct us otherwise. If you do not want the mailing of these documents to be combined with those for other members of your household, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7762.

Certain Fund Policies

 

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 is required to obtain sufficient information from shareholders to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its shareholders. This information will be used to verify the identity of investors or, in some cases, the status of Financial Intermediaries. Such information may be verified using third-party sources. This information will be used only for compliance with the Patriot Act or other applicable laws, regulations and rules in connection with money laundering, terrorism or economic sanctions.

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.

BlackRock Privacy Principles

BlackRock is committed to maintaining the privacy of its current and former fund investors and individual clients (collectively, “Clients”) and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information BlackRock collects, how we protect that information and why in certain cases we share such information with select parties.

If you are located in a jurisdiction where specific laws, rules or regulations require BlackRock to provide you with additional or different privacy-related rights beyond what is set forth below, then BlackRock will comply with those specific laws, rules or regulations.

BlackRock obtains or verifies personal non-public information from and about you from different sources, including the following: (i) information we receive from you or, if applicable, your Financial Intermediary, on applications, forms or other documents; (ii) information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, or others; (iii) information we receive from a consumer reporting agency; and (iv) from visits to our website.

BlackRock does not sell or disclose to non-affiliated third parties any non-public personal information about its Clients, except as permitted by law, or as is necessary to respond to regulatory requests or to service Client accounts. These non-affiliated third parties are required to protect the confidentiality and security of this information and to use it only for its intended purpose.

We may share information with our affiliates to service your account or to provide you with information about other BlackRock products or services that may be of interest to you. In addition, BlackRock restricts access to non-public personal information about its Clients to those BlackRock employees with a legitimate business need for the information. BlackRock maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that are designed to protect the non-public personal information of its Clients, including procedures relating to the proper storage and disposal of such information.

Statement of Additional Information

 

If you would like further information about the Fund, including how it invests, please see the SAI.

For a discussion of the Fund’s policies and procedures regarding the selective disclosure of its portfolio holdings, please see the SAI.

 

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Glossary

 

 

 

This glossary contains an explanation of some of the common terms used in this prospectus. For additional information about the Fund, please see the SAI.

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses — fees and expenses charged by other investment companies in which the Fund invests a portion of its assets.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses — expenses that cover the costs of operating the Fund.

Daily Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within one business day; and (iv) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within one business day on pending sales of portfolio securities.

Distribution Fees — fees used to support the Fund’s marketing and distribution efforts, such as compensating Financial Intermediaries, advertising and promotion.

Dollar-Weighted Average Life — the dollar-weighted average maturity of the Fund’s portfolio calculated without reference to the exceptions used for variable or floating rate securities regarding the use of interest rate reset dates in lieu of the security’s actual maturity date. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average.

Dollar-Weighted Average Maturity — the average maturity of the Fund is the average amount of time until the organizations that issued the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio must pay off the principal amount of the debt. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average. To calculate the dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may treat a variable or floating rate security as having a maturity equal to the time remaining to the security’s next interest rate reset date rather than the security’s actual maturity.

Eligible Securities — Applicable Eligible Securities include:

 

 

securities with a remaining maturity of 397 calendar days or less (with certain exceptions) that BlackRock determines present minimal credit risks to the Fund after considering certain factors;

 

 

securities issued by other registered investment companies that are money market funds; or

 

 

securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Interest Expense — the cost of borrowing money to buy additional securities, primarily through reverse repurchase agreements (under which the Fund sells securities and agrees to buy them back at a particular date and price).

Management Fee — a fee paid to BlackRock for managing the Fund.

Other Expenses — include accounting, administration, transfer agency, custody, professional and registration fees.

Service Fees — fees used to compensate Financial Intermediaries for certain shareholder servicing activities.

Shareholder Fees — fees paid directly by a shareholder, including sales charges that you may pay when you buy or sell shares of the Fund.

Weekly Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) U.S. Government securities issued by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the U.S. Government pursuant to authority granted by the U.S. Congress, that are issued at a discount to the principal amount to be repaid at maturity without provision for the payment of interest and have a remaining maturity of 60 days or less; (iv) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within five business days; and (v) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within five business days on pending sales of portfolio securities.

 

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Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies

 

 

 

Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies

 

Merrill Lynch:

Effective April 10, 2017, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account (excluding shares purchased from or through the Fund, the Fund’s distributor or any non-Merrill Lynch platform or account, even if Merrill Lynch serves as broker-dealer of record for such shares) will be eligible only for the following sales charge waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and CDSC waivers) and reductions, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in the prospectus or SAI.

Front-End Sales Charge Waivers for Investor A Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

 

 

Shares purchased by employer-sponsored retirement, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) and trusts used to fund those plans, provided that the shares are not held in a commission-based brokerage account and shares are held for the benefit of the plan/plan participants

 

 

Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan

 

 

Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program

 

 

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Merrill Lynch’s platform

 

 

Shares of funds purchased through the Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other BlackRock Fund)

 

 

Shares exchanged from Investor C (i.e. level-load) Shares of the same Fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date

 

 

Shares purchased by employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members

 

 

Shares purchased by directors of the Fund, and employees of BlackRock or any of its affiliates, as described in the prospectus

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions from another BlackRock Fund, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge (known as Rights of Reinstatement)

CDSC Waivers on Investor A and C Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

 

 

Shares sold due to death or disability of the shareholder

 

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the prospectus

 

 

Shares bought due to return of excess contributions from an IRA Account

 

 

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 7012

 

 

Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch

 

 

Shares acquired through a Right of Reinstatement

 

 

Investor A and C Shares of the Fund held in the following IRA or other retirement brokerage accounts: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Rollover IRAs, Inherited IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, BASIC Plans, Educational Savings Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts, that are exchanged for Institutional Shares of the Fund due to transfer to certain fee based accounts or platforms

 

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Front-End Sales Charge Discounts Available at Merrill Lynch: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent

 

 

 

Breakpoints as described in the prospectus

 

 

Rights of Accumulation (ROA) entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts that will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of BlackRock Fund assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible BlackRock Fund assets not held at Merrill Lynch may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets

 

 

Letters of Intent (LOI) allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases of BlackRock Funds, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time

Ameriprise Financial:

Investor A Shares Front-End Sales Charge Waivers Available at Ameriprise Financial

The following information applies to Investor A Shares purchases if you have an account with or otherwise purchase Fund shares through Ameriprise Financial.

Effective June 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing Investor A shares through an Ameriprise Financial platform or account will be eligible for the following front-end sales charge waivers and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this Fund’s prospectus or SAI:

 

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs or SAR-SEPs

 

 

Shares purchased through an Ameriprise Financial investment advisory program (if an advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)

 

 

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Ameriprise Financial’s platform (if an advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within BlackRock Funds)

 

 

Shares exchanged from Investor C Shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to such shares following a shorter holding period, that waiver will apply to exchanges following such shorter period. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to exchanges of Investor C Shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges

 

 

Shares purchased by employees and registered representatives of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates and their immediate family members

 

 

Shares purchased by or through qualified accounts (including IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 401(k)s, 403(b) TSCAs subject to ERISA and defined benefit plans) that are held by a covered family member, defined as an Ameriprise financial advisor (“FA”) and/or the FA’s spouse, FA’s lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather), FA’s lineal descendant (son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter) or any spouse of a covered family member who is a lineal descendant

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within BlackRock Funds, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge (i.e. Rights of Reinstatement)

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management:

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Investor A Share Front-End Sales Charge Waiver

Effective July 1, 2018, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients purchasing Investor A Shares of the Fund through Morgan Stanley’s transactional brokerage accounts are entitled to a waiver of the front-end sales charge in the following circumstances:

 

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans does not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, SAR-SEPs or Keogh plans

 

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Morgan Stanley employee and employee-related accounts according to Morgan Stanley’s account linking rules

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions when purchasing shares of the same fund

 

 

Shares purchased through a Morgan Stanley self-directed brokerage account

 

 

Investor C Shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are exchanged for Investor A Shares of the same fund pursuant to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s share class conversion program

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within BlackRock Funds under a Rights of Reinstatement provision, provided the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge

Unless specifically described above, no other front-end sales charge waivers are available to mutual fund purchases by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients through Morgan Stanley’s transactional brokerage accounts.

 

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Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Raymond James Financial Services and Affiliates (“Raymond James”):

Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Raymond James platform or account will be eligible only for the following sales charge waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and CDSC waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this prospectus or the SAI.

Front-End Sales Charge Waivers on Investor A Shares Available at Raymond James

 

 

 

Shares purchased in a Raymond James investment advisory program.

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same Fund (but not any other BlackRock Fund).

 

 

Shares purchased by employees and registered representatives of Raymond James or its affiliates and their family members as designated by Raymond James.

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions from another BlackRock Fund, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge (known as Rights of Reinstatement).

 

 

A shareholder in the Fund’s Investor C shares will have their shares converted at net asset value to Investor A shares of the Fund if the shares are no longer subject to a CDSC and the conversion is in line with the policies and procedures of Raymond James.

CDSC Waivers on Investor A and C Shares Available at Raymond James

 

 

 

Shares sold due to death or disability of the shareholder.

 

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

 

 

Shares bought due to return of excess contributions from an IRA Account.

 

 

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 7012 as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

 

 

Shares sold to pay Raymond James fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Raymond James.

 

 

Shares acquired through a Right of Reinstatement.

Front-End Sales Charge Discounts Available at Raymond James: Breakpoints and/or Rights of Accumulation

 

 

 

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus.

 

 

Rights of accumulation which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of BlackRock Fund assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Raymond James. Eligible BlackRock Fund assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the rights of accumulation calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets.

 

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For More Information

 

 

Fund and Service Providers

 

 

THE FUND

BlackRock FundsSM

BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Written Correspondence:

P.O. Box 9819

Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019

Overnight Mail:

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01588

(800) 441-7762

MANAGER

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

TRANSFER AGENT

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc.

301 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

[                ]

[                ]

[                ]

ACCOUNTING SERVICES PROVIDER

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

DISTRIBUTOR

BlackRock Investments, LLC

40 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10022

CUSTODIANS

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

The Bank of New York Mellon

240 Greenwich Street

New York, New York 10286

COUNSEL

Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Avenue

New York, New York 10019-6018

 


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Additional Information

 

 

For more information:

This prospectus contains important information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference. More information about the Fund is available at no charge upon request. This information includes:

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports

These reports contain additional information about the Fund’s investments. The annual report describes the Fund’s performance, lists portfolio holdings, and discusses recent market conditions, economic trends and Fund investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance for the last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

A Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated [                ], 2019, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SAI, which includes additional information about the Fund, may be obtained free of charge, along with the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, by calling (800) 441-7762. The SAI, as supplemented from time to time, is incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

BlackRock Investor Services

Representatives are available to discuss account balance information, mutual fund prospectuses, literature, programs and services available. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time), on any business day. Call: (800) 441-7762.

Purchases and Redemptions

Call your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock Investor Services at (800) 441-7762.

World Wide Web

General Fund information and specific Fund performance, including the SAI and annual/semi-annual reports, can be accessed free of charge at www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash. Mutual fund prospectuses and literature can also be requested via this website.

Written Correspondence

BlackRock FundsSM

P.O. Box 9819

Providence, Rhode Island 02940

Overnight Mail

BlackRock FundsSM

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01588

Internal Wholesalers/Broker Dealer Support

Available on any business day to support investment professionals. Call: (800) 882-0052.

Portfolio Characteristics and Holdings

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures related to disclosure of portfolio characteristics and holdings is available in the SAI.

For information about portfolio holdings and characteristics, BlackRock fund shareholders and prospective investors may call (800) 882-0052.

Securities and Exchange Commission

You may also view and copy public information about the Fund, including the SAI, by visiting the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of this information can be obtained, for a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. No one is authorized to provide you with information that is different from information contained in this prospectus.

The 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.

INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT FILE # 811-05742

 

 

 

[CODE]    LOGO


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The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 22, 2019

[                ], 2019

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

   

LOGO

 

BlackRock FundsSM  |  Direct Shares

 

Ø   

BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

Direct: [    ]

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from BlackRock or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.    

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. If you hold accounts directly with BlackRock, you can call (800) 441-7450 to inform BlackRock that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports. If you hold accounts through a financial intermediary, you can follow the instructions included with this disclosure, if applicable, or contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds advised by BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Fund Advisors or their affiliates, or all funds held with your financial intermediary, as applicable.

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. You may elect to receive electronic delivery of shareholder reports and other communications by contacting your financial intermediary, if you hold accounts through a financial intermediary. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service.

This Prospectus contains information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Not FDIC Insured • May Lose Value • No Bank Guarantee


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Table of Contents

 

 

 

Fund Overview    Key facts and details about the Fund listed in this prospectus, including investment objectives, principal investment strategies, principal risk factors, fee and expense information, and historical performance information  
   Investment Objective     3  
   Fees and Expenses of the Fund     3  
   Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund     3  
   Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund     4  
   Performance Information     5  
   Investment Manager     5  
   Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares     5  
   Tax Information     6  
Details About the Fund    Information about how the Fund invests, including investment objectives, investment processes, principal strategies and risk factors  
   How the Fund Invests     7  
   Investment Risks     11  
Account Information    Information about account services, sales charges and waivers, shareholder transactions, and distribution and other payments  
   How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs     15  
   How to Buy and Sell Shares     15  
   Fund’s Rights     17  
   Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates     17  
   Short-Term Trading Policy     18  
   Master/Feeder Structure     18  
Management of the Fund    Information About BlackRock  
   BlackRock     20  
   Conflicts of Interest     21  
   Valuation of Fund Investments     22  
   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes     22  
Financial Highlights    Financial Performance of the Fund     24  
General Information    Shareholder Documents     25  
   Certain Fund Policies     25  
   Statement of Additional Information     25  
Glossary    Glossary of Investment Terms     26  
For More Information    Fund and Service Providers     Inside Back Cover  
   Additional Information     Back Cover  


Table of Contents

Fund Overview

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The investment objective of BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Direct Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

   Direct
Shares

Management Fee

       [    ]%

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

       None

Other Expenses1

       [    ]%

Administration Fee

       [    ]%   

Miscellaneous Other Expenses1

       [    ]%   

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

       [    ]%

Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2

       [    ]%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2

       [    ]%

 

1 

Miscellaneous Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

 

2 

As described in the “Management of the Fund” section of the Fund’s prospectus beginning on page 20, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Miscellaneous Other Expenses (excluding Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses) to [    ]% of average daily net assets through [            ]. This agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

Example:

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem 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  

Direct Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy. For purposes of this 80% policy, U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment have better than average performance in environmental practices.

In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also develop and employ the use of proprietary models. While these models may use third party data, they may differ as to the inputs and the significance of those

 

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inputs being employed. BlackRock may conduct its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion.

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

   

that derive more than 15% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

   

that derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”).

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Because the share price of the Fund will fluctuate, when you sell your shares, they may be worth more or less than what you originally paid for them. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a summary description of principal risks of investing in the Fund.

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. 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 investment in that issuer.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria. In evaluating an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable, which could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk — Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — Income risk is the risk that the Fund’s yield will vary as short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk — Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes

 

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in interest rates than the market price of shorter term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage- and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks. These securities also are subject to risk of default on the underlying mortgage or asset, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the 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 may lose money.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Certain securities in which the Fund may invest, including securities issued by certain U.S. Government agencies and U.S. Government sponsored enterprises, are not guaranteed by the U.S. Government or supported by the full faith and credit of the United States.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — The absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them if the issuer defaults.

 

 

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 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 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

 

Because the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, it does not have performance information an investor would find useful in evaluating the risks of investing in the Fund.

Investment Manager

 

The Fund’s investment manager is BlackRock Advisors, LLC (previously defined as “BlackRock”).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

You may generally purchase or redeem shares of the Fund each day on which both the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open.

You generally must purchase or sell Direct Shares of the Fund through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform. If you are experiencing difficulty placing an order through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7450. You have until the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. Eastern time) to get your purchase money in to the Fund on the day of your purchase or your purchase order will be cancelled.

 

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The Fund’s initial and subsequent investment minimums generally are as follows, although the Fund may reduce or waive the minimums in some cases.

 

     Direct Shares
Minimum Initial Investment   $1 million for individuals and institutional investors
Minimum Additional Investment   No subsequent minimum.

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s dividends and distributions may be subject to U.S. federal income taxes and may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are a tax-exempt investor or are investing through a qualified tax-exempt plan described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, in which case you may be subject to U.S. federal income tax when distributions are received from such tax-deferred arrangements.

 

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Details About the Fund

 

 

 

Included in this prospectus are sections that tell you about buying and selling shares, management information, shareholder features of BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), and your rights as a shareholder.

How the Fund Invests

 

The Fund is a non-retail, non-government money market fund under Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).

 

 

The Fund will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. For a discussion of dollar-weighted average maturity and dollar-weighted average life, please see the Glossary on page 26.

 

 

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7, the Fund is subject to a “general liquidity requirement” that requires that the Fund hold securities that are sufficiently liquid to meet reasonably foreseeable shareholder redemptions in light of its obligations under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act regarding share redemptions and any commitments the Fund has made to shareholders. To comply with this general liquidity requirement, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) must consider factors that could affect the Fund’s liquidity needs, including characteristics of the Fund’s investors and their likely redemptions. Depending upon the volatility of its cash flows (particularly shareholder redemptions), this may require the Fund to maintain greater liquidity than would be required by the daily and weekly minimum liquidity requirements discussed below.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any illiquid security (i.e., securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to them by the Fund) if, immediately following such purchase, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets are invested in illiquid securities.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any security other than a daily liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 10% of its total assets would be invested in daily liquid assets, and the Fund will not acquire any security other than a weekly liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 30% of its total assets would be invested in weekly liquid assets. For a discussion of daily liquid assets and weekly liquid assets, please see the Glossary on page 26.

 

 

The Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) per share, calculated as described in “Management of the Fund — Valuation of Fund Investments,” will be quoted to the fourth decimal place (e.g., $1.0000), and is expected to fluctuate from time to time.

 

 

The Fund invests in securities maturing within 13 months or less from the date of purchase, with certain exceptions. For example, certain government securities held by the Fund may have remaining maturities exceeding 13 months if such securities provide for adjustments in their interest rates not less frequently than every 13 months.

 

 

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification, and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Fund will purchase securities (or issuers of such securities) that are Eligible Securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”). For a discussion of Eligible Securities, please see the Glossary.

The Board will be permitted to impose a liquidity fee on redemptions from the Fund (up to 2%) or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period under certain circumstances. Please see the section below titled “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for additional information about liquidity fees and redemption gates.

Investment Objective

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Should the Board determine that the investment objective of the Fund should be changed, shareholders will be given at least 30 days’ notice before any such change is made. However, such change can be effected without shareholder approval.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase

 

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agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy. For purposes of this 80% policy, U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment have better than average performance in environmental practices.

In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also develop and employ the use of proprietary models. While these models may use third party data, they may differ as to the inputs and the significance of those inputs being employed. BlackRock may conduct its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion.

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

   

that derive more than 15% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

   

that derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

When known at the time of purchase, Fund management may also consider an issuer’s or guarantor’s commitment to support sustainable palm oil.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. For purposes of compliance with the Fund’s 80% investment policy, (1) the Fund’s investment in “green” bonds will not be deemed to qualify unless the issuer or guarantor of such bonds, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria and (2) the Fund’s investment in repurchase agreements will not be deemed to qualify except to the extent that both the repurchase agreement counterparty and the issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) of the security subject to the repurchase agreement, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meet the Fund’s environmental criteria. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board.

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, the Fund will generally limit its purchases of any one issuer’s securities (other than U.S. Government obligations and repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities) to 5% of the Fund’s total assets, except that up to 25% of its total assets may be invested in securities of one issuer for a period of up to three business days; provided that the Fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing exception at any one time.

Additionally, a security purchased by the Fund (or the issuers of such security) will be:

 

   

a security that has short-term ratings at the time of purchase (or which are guaranteed or in some cases otherwise supported by credit supports with such ratings) in the highest rating category by at least two unaffiliated nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or one NRSRO, if the security or guarantee was only rated by one NRSRO;

 

   

a security that is issued or guaranteed by a person with such ratings;

 

   

a security without such short-term ratings that has been determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock;

 

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a security issued by other open-end investment companies that invest in the type of obligations in which the Fund may invest; or

 

   

a security issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Appendix A to the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) contains a description of the relevant rating symbols used by several NRSROs for various types of debt obligations.

During periods of unusual market conditions or during temporary defensive periods, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies. The Fund may hold uninvested cash reserves pending investment, during temporary defensive periods, or the Fund may invest without limit in U.S. Treasury securities. Uninvested cash reserves may not earn income. Temporary defensive investments may limit the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Principal Investments

The section below describes the particular types of securities in which the Fund principally invests. The Fund may, from time to time, make other types of investments and pursue other investment strategies in support of its overall investment goal. These supplemental investment strategies are described in the SAI.

Specifically, the Fund may invest in:

 

 

Bank Obligations. The Fund may purchase obligations of issuers in the banking industry, such as bank holding company obligations, bank commercial paper, certificates of deposit, bank notes and time deposits issued or supported by the credit of domestic banks or savings institutions and U.S. dollar-denominated instruments issued or supported by the credit of foreign banks or savings institutions. The Fund may also make interest-bearing savings deposits in domestic commercial and savings banks in amounts not in excess of 5% of the Fund’s assets. The Fund may also invest substantially in obligations of foreign banks or foreign branches of U.S. banks where BlackRock deems the instrument to present minimal credit risk.

 

 

Commercial Paper. The Fund may invest in commercial paper, short-term notes and corporate bonds of domestic corporations that meet the Fund’s quality and maturity requirements, which are short-term securities with maturities of 1 to 397 days, issued by banks, corporations and others. In addition, commercial paper purchased by the Fund may include instruments issued by foreign issuers.

 

 

Funding Agreements. The Fund may make investments in obligations, such as guaranteed investment contracts and similar funding agreements, issued by highly rated U.S. insurance companies. Funding agreement investments that do not provide for payment within seven days after notice are subject to the Fund’s policy regarding investments in illiquid securities.

 

 

Loan Participations. The Fund may invest in loan participations. Loan participations are interests in loans which are administered by the lending bank or agent for a syndicate of lending banks, and sold by the lending bank or syndicate member.

 

 

Master Demand or Term Notes. The Fund may invest in master demand or term notes payable in U.S. dollars and issued or guaranteed by U.S. and foreign corporations or other entities. A master demand or term note typically permits the investment of varying amounts by the Fund under an agreement between the Fund and an issuer. The principal amount of a master demand or term note may be increased from time to time by the parties (subject to specified maximums) or decreased by the issuer. In some instances, such notes may be supported by collateral. Collateral, if any, for a master demand or term note may include types of securities that the Fund could not hold directly.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Obligations. The Fund may invest in debt securities that are backed by a pool of assets, usually loans such as mortgages, installment sale contracts, credit card receivables or other assets (“asset-backed securities”). The Fund may also invest in certain mortgage-related securities, such as bonds that are backed by cash flows from pools of mortgages and may have multiple classes with different payment rights and protections (“collateralized mortgage obligations” or “CMOs”) issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities. Purchasable mortgage-related securities also include adjustable rate securities. The Fund currently intends to hold CMOs only as collateral for repurchase agreements.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements are similar in certain respects to collateralized loans, but are structured as a purchase of securities by the Fund, subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase the securities at a mutually agreed upon date and price. Under a repurchase agreement, the seller is required to furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of the seller’s repurchase obligation. Collateral for the Fund’s repurchase agreements may include cash, obligations issued by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, and obligations rated in the highest category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board. However, collateral is not limited to the foregoing and may include, for example, obligations rated in any category by NRSROs. Additionally, collateral for a repurchase agreement may include other types of securities that the Fund could not hold directly without the repurchase obligation.

 

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The Fund may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account at the Fund’s custodian bank, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations. The Fund may purchase obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises, and related custodial receipts.

 

 

U.S. Treasury Obligations. The Fund may invest in direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury. The Fund 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.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instruments. The Fund may purchase variable or floating rate notes, which are instruments that provide for adjustments in the interest rate on certain reset dates or whenever a specified interest rate index changes, respectively.

 

 

When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Transactions. The Fund may transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. The Fund expects that commitments to purchase securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis will not exceed 25% of the value of its total assets absent unusual market conditions. The Fund does not intend to purchase securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis for speculative purposes but only in furtherance of its investment objective. The Fund does not receive income from securities purchased on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis prior to delivery of such securities.

Other Strategies

In addition to the principal investment strategies discussed above, the Fund may also invest or engage in the following investments/strategies:

 

 

Borrowing. During periods of unusual market conditions, the Fund is authorized to borrow money from banks or other lenders on a temporary basis to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief. The Fund will borrow money when BlackRock believes that the return from securities purchased with borrowed funds will be greater than the cost of the borrowing. Such borrowings may be secured or unsecured.

 

 

Illiquid Investments. The Fund will not invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in illiquid securities that it cannot sell in the ordinary course within seven days at approximately current value.

 

 

Investment Company Securities. The Fund may invest in securities issued by other open-end or closed-end investment companies, including affiliated investment companies, as permitted by the Investment Company Act. A pro rata portion of the other investment companies’ expenses may be borne by the Fund’s shareholders. These investments may include, as consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies, certain variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end funds, which invest primarily in portfolios of taxable or tax-exempt securities. It is anticipated that the payments made on the variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end municipal bond funds will be exempt from federal income tax.

 

 

Municipal Obligations. The Fund may, when deemed appropriate by BlackRock in light of its investment objective, invest in high quality, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities, such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts (“Municipal Obligations”) issued by state and local governmental issuers which carry yields that are competitive with those of other types of money market instruments of comparable quality.

 

 

Restricted Securities. Restricted securities are securities that cannot be offered for public resale unless registered under the applicable securities laws or that have a contractual restriction that prohibits or limits their resale. They may include Rule 144A securities, which are privately placed securities that can be resold to qualified institutional buyers but not to the general public, and securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are offered pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund is permitted to invest up to one-third of its total assets in reverse repurchase agreements. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements and securities lending transactions (described below) will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

 

Securities Lending. The Fund may lend its securities with a value of up to one-third of its total assets (including the value of the collateral for the loan) to qualified brokers, dealers, banks and other financial institutions for the purpose of realizing additional net investment income through the receipt of interest on the loan. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements (described above) and securities lending transactions will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

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Investment Risks

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Because the share price of the Fund will fluctuate, when you sell your shares they may be worth more or less than what you originally paid for them. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a description of certain risks of investing in the Fund.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. 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 investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on both the financial condition of the issuer and the terms of the obligation.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria. In evaluating an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable, which could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk — Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — The Fund’s yield will vary as the short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk — Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage-backed securities (residential and commercial) and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Although asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) generally experience less prepayment than residential mortgage-backed securities, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, like traditional fixed-income securities, are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks.

 

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Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. The Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-related securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. These securities also are subject to the risk of default on the underlying mortgages or assets, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Certain CMBS are issued in several classes with different levels of yield and credit protection. The Fund’s investments in CMBS with several classes may be in the lower classes that have greater risks than the higher classes, including greater interest rate, credit and prepayment risks.

Mortgage-backed securities may be either pass-through securities or CMOs. Pass-through securities represent a right to receive principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages, which are passed through to security holders. CMOs are created by dividing the principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages into several revenue streams (“tranches”) with different priority rights to portions of the underlying mortgage payments. Certain CMO tranches may represent a right to receive interest only (“IOs”), principal only (“POs”) or an amount that remains after floating-rate tranches are paid (an “inverse floater”). These securities are frequently referred to as “mortgage derivatives” and may be extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates. Interest rates on inverse floaters, for example, vary inversely with a short-term floating rate (which may be reset periodically). Interest rates on inverse floaters will decrease when short-term rates increase, and will increase when short-term rates decrease. These securities have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage. In response to changes in market interest rates or other market conditions, the value of an inverse floater may increase or decrease at a multiple of the increase or decrease in the value of the underlying securities. If the Fund invests in CMO tranches (including CMO tranches issued by government agencies) and interest rates move in a manner not anticipated by Fund management, it is possible that the Fund could lose all or substantially all of its investment. Certain mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest may also provide a degree of investment leverage, which could cause the Fund to lose all or substantially all of its investment.

The mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain of the Fund’s mortgage-related investments. Delinquencies and losses on mortgage loans (including subprime and second-lien mortgage loans) generally have increased and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of real estate values (as has been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Also, a number of mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen.

Asset-backed securities entail certain risks not presented by mortgage-backed securities, including the risk that in certain states it may be difficult to perfect the liens securing the collateral backing certain asset-backed securities. In addition, certain asset-backed securities are based on loans that are unsecured, which means that there is no collateral to seize if the underlying borrower defaults.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are motivated to pay off debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the 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 may lose money.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Not all U.S. Government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Obligations of certain agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises of the U.S. Government are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., the Government National Mortgage Association); other obligations are backed by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Banks) and others are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase an agency’s obligations. Still others are backed only by the credit of the agency, authority, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise issuing the obligation. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — The absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them if the issuer defaults.

 

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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 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 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.

Other Risks of Investing in the Fund

The Fund may also be subject to certain other risks associated with its investments and investment strategies, including:

 

 

Borrowing Risk — Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the NAV 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.

 

 

Cyber Security Risk — Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund, the Fund’s adviser, distributor, and other service providers, or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests 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 or issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.

 

 

Expense Risk — Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.

 

 

Illiquid Investments Risk — The Fund’s illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because it may be difficult to sell the illiquid investments at an advantageous time or price. The Fund may be unable to pay redemption proceeds within the time period stated in this prospectus because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, or other reasons.

 

 

Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk — As with other investments, investments in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, are subject to market and selection risk. In addition, if the Fund acquires shares of investment companies, including ones affiliated with the Fund, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of expenses in the Fund (including management and advisory fees) and, indirectly, the expenses of the investment companies (to the extent not offset by BlackRock through waivers to the Fund’s management fees). To the extent the Fund is held by an affiliated fund, the ability of the Fund itself to hold other investment companies may be limited.

 

 

Municipal Securities Risk — Municipal securities risks include the ability of the issuer to repay the obligation, the relative lack of information about certain issuers of municipal securities, and the possibility of future legislative changes which could affect the market for and value of municipal securities. These risks include:

General Obligation Bonds Risks — The full faith, credit and taxing power of the municipality that issues a general obligation bond secures payment of interest and repayment of principal. Timely payments depend on the issuer’s credit quality, ability to raise tax revenues and ability to maintain an adequate tax base.

Revenue Bonds Risks — Payments of interest and principal on revenue bonds are made only from the revenues generated by a particular facility, class of facilities or the proceeds of a special tax or other revenue source. These payments depend on the money earned by the particular facility or class of facilities, or the amount of revenues derived from another source.

Private Activity Bonds Risks — Municipalities and other public authorities issue private activity bonds to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise. The private enterprise pays the principal and interest on the bond, and the issuer does not pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. If the private enterprise defaults on its payments, the Fund may not receive any income or get its money back from the investment.

Moral Obligation Bonds Risks — Moral obligation bonds are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality.

Municipal Notes Risks — Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of, and are secured by, tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the notes may not be fully repaid and the Fund may lose money.

 

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Municipal Lease Obligations Risks — In a municipal lease obligation, the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. The issuer will generally appropriate municipal funds for that purpose, but is not obligated to do so. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property. However, if the issuer does not fulfill its payment obligation it may be difficult to sell the property and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the Fund’s loss.

Tax-Exempt Status Risk — In making investments, the Fund and its investment manager will rely on the opinion of issuers’ bond counsel and, in the case of derivative securities, sponsors’ counsel, on the tax-exempt status of interest on Municipal Obligations and payments under tax-exempt derivative securities. Neither the Fund nor its investment manager will independently review the bases for those tax opinions. If any of those tax opinions are ultimately determined to be incorrect or if events occur after the security is acquired that impact the security’s tax-exempt status, the Fund and its shareholders could be subject to substantial tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has generally not ruled on the taxability of the securities. An assertion by the IRS that a portfolio security is not exempt from U.S. federal income tax (contrary to indications from the issuer) could affect the Fund’s and its shareholder’s income tax liability for the current or past years and could create liability for information reporting penalties. In addition, an IRS assertion of taxability may impair the liquidity and the fair market value of the securities.

 

 

Restricted Securities Risk — Limitations on the resale of restricted securities may have an adverse effect on their marketability, and may prevent the Fund from disposing of them promptly at advantageous prices. Restricted securities may not be listed on an exchange and may have no active trading market. In order to sell such securities, the Fund may have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration. Other transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than unrestricted securities. Restricted securities may be difficult to value because market quotations may not be readily available, and the securities may have significant volatility. Also, the Fund may get only limited information about the issuer of a given restricted security, and therefore may be less able to predict a loss. Certain restricted securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses to the Fund.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk — Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by the Fund with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the other party may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to recover the securities and the value of the collateral held by the Fund, including the value of the investments made with cash collateral, is less than the value of the securities. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences to the Fund.

 

 

Securities Lending Risk — Securities lending involves the risk that the borrower may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. As a result, the Fund may lose money and there may be a delay in recovering the loaned securities. The Fund could also lose money if it does not recover the securities and/or the value of the collateral falls, including the value of investments made with cash collateral. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

 

 

Valuation Risk — The price the Fund could receive upon the sale of any particular portfolio investment may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the investment. 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 than expected loss or lesser than expected gain upon the sale of the investment. Pricing services that value fixed-income securities generally utilize a range of market-based and security-specific inputs and assumptions, as well as considerations about general market conditions, to establish a price. Pricing services generally value fixed-income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but may be held or transactions may be conducted in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than institutional round lots. The Fund’s ability to value its investments may also be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.

 

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Account Information

 

 

 

How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs

 

The Fund currently offers multiple share classes (Direct Shares in this prospectus), each with its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to invest in the way that best suits your needs. Each share class represents an ownership interest in the same investment portfolio of the Fund. Direct Shares are generally only available to investors purchasing or selling through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform.

The Fund’s shares are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BlackRock.

The table below summarizes key features of the Direct Shares class of the Fund.

 

Direct Shares at a Glance
Availability   Only available through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform.
Minimum Investment   $1 million for individuals and institutional investors.
Initial Sales Charge?   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.
Deferred Sales Charge?   No.
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees?   No.
Redemption Fees?   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.

How to Buy and Sell Shares

 

The chart on the following pages summarizes how to buy and sell shares through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform. To learn more about buying and selling shares the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform, visit www.blackrock.com/cash or call (800) 441-7450.

With certain limited exceptions, the Fund is generally available only to investors residing in the United States and may not be distributed by a foreign financial intermediary. Under this policy, in order to accept new accounts or additional investments (including by way of exchange from another mutual fund sponsored and advised by BlackRock or its affiliates (a “BlackRock Fund”) into existing accounts, the Fund generally requires that (i) a shareholder that is a natural person be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, in each case residing within the United States or a U.S. territory (including APO/FPO/DPO addresses), and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number, and (ii) a financial intermediary or a shareholder that is an entity be domiciled in the United States and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or be domiciled in a U.S. territory and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or IRS Form W-8. Any existing account that is updated to reflect a non-U.S. address will also be restricted from making additional investments.

The Fund may reject any purchase order, modify or waive the minimum initial or subsequent investment requirements for any shareholders and suspend and resume the sale of any share class of the Fund at any time for any reason. In addition, the Fund may waive certain requirements regarding the purchase or sale of shares described below.

Under certain circumstances, if no activity occurs in an account within a time period specified by state law, a shareholder’s shares in the Fund may be transferred to that state.

 

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How to Buy Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Initial Purchase   Determine the amount of your investment       Refer to the minimum initial investment in the “Direct Shares at a Glance” table of this prospectus.
    Submit your purchase order through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform      

Purchase orders generally must be placed through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform. Purchase orders placed before 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) and received by the Fund’s transfer agent, BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends.

 

NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will not be priced on days the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the NYSE is closed due to an emergency.

Purchase orders placed through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will be priced at the NAV determined on the next business day.

 

If you are experiencing difficulty placing a purchase order through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7450.

 

The Fund may reject any order to buy shares and may suspend the sale of shares at any time, including when a redemption gate is in place (see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below).

Add to Your Investment   Purchase additional shares       Direct Shares have no minimum for additional purchases. Purchase additional Direct Shares through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform.
    Acquire additional shares by reinvesting dividends and capital gains       All dividends and capital gains distributions are automatically reinvested without a sales charge. To make any changes to your dividend and/or capital gains distributions options, please log onto the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform or call (800) 441-7450.
How to Pay for Shares   Making payment for purchases       Payment for an order must be made in Federal funds or other immediately available funds by the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)). If payment is not received by this time, the order will be canceled and you will be responsible for any loss to the Fund. You may also wire Federal funds to the Transfer Agent to purchase shares, but you must call (800) 441-7450 before doing so to confirm the wiring instructions.
How to Sell Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial Redemption of Shares   Selling shares through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform      

Make redemption requests through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform. The price of your shares is based on the next calculation of the Fund’s NAV after your order is placed. For your redemption request to be priced at the NAV on the day of your request, you must submit your request through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform prior to 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) and your request must be received by the Fund’s Transfer Agent before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time). Any redemption request placed after 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) will be priced at the NAV at the close of business on the next business day.

 

If you are experiencing difficulty placing a redemption request through the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform or through a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7450.

 

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How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know

 

Full or Partial Redemption of Shares (continued)

 

 

Selling shares through the BlackRock Online Trading Platform or a BlackRock Online Treasury Management Platform (continued)

     

 

The Fund may reject an order to sell shares under certain circumstances.

 

Payment of Redemption Proceeds

Redemption proceeds will be paid by wire transfer. Proceeds for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is submitted before 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) and received by the Fund’s Transfer Agent before 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day are normally paid in Federal funds wired to the redeeming shareholder on the same business day, provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Proceeds for redemption orders received on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed are normally wired in Federal funds on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business. The Fund reserves the right to wire redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund.

 

* * *

 

Under normal and stressed market conditions, the Fund typically expects to meet redemption requests by using cash or cash equivalents in its portfolio or by selling portfolio assets to generate additional cash.

Fund’s Rights

 

The Fund may:

 

 

Suspend the right of redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the NYSE or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act;

 

 

Postpone the date of payment upon redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the NYSE or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act or if a redemption request is made before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares;

 

 

Redeem shares for property other than cash as may be permitted under the Investment Company Act; and

 

 

Redeem shares involuntarily in certain cases, such as when the value of a shareholder account falls below a specified level.

Suspension of Redemptions Upon Liquidation. If the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Investment Company Act, determines that the Fund has invested, at the end of a business day, less than 10% of its total assets in weekly liquid assets, then the Board, subject to certain conditions, may, where the Board has determined to liquidate the Fund irrevocably, suspend redemptions and payment of redemption proceeds in order to facilitate the permanent liquidation of the Fund in an orderly manner. If this were to occur, it would likely result in a delay in your receipt of your redemption proceeds.

Note on Low Balance Accounts. Because of the high cost of maintaining smaller shareholder accounts, BlackRock has set a minimum balance of $500 in each Fund position you hold within your account (the “Fund Minimum”), and may redeem the shares in your account if the NAV of those shares in your account falls below $500 for any reason, including market fluctuation.

You will be notified that the value of your account is less than the Fund Minimum before the Fund makes any involuntary redemption. This notification will provide you with a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment in order to bring the value of your account to at least $500 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption. This involuntary redemption will not charge any deferred sales charge.

Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates

 

Under Rule 2a-7, the Board is permitted to impose a liquidity fee up to 2% on the value of shares redeemed or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period, in the event that the Fund’s weekly liquid assets fall below the following thresholds:

 

 

30% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets, and the Board determines it is in the best interests of the Fund, the Board may impose at any time, and as early as the same day, a liquidity fee of up to 2% of the amount redeemed, or a redemption gate that temporarily suspends the right of redemption.

 

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10% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 10% of the Fund’s total assets as of the end of a business day, the Board will impose, at the beginning of the next business day, a liquidity fee of 1% of the amount redeemed, unless the Board determines that imposing such a fee would not be in the best interests of the Fund or determines that a lower or higher fee (not to exceed 2%) would be in the best interests of the Fund.

Liquidity fees and redemption gates, if imposed, may be terminated at any time in the discretion of the Board. Liquidity fees and redemption gates will also automatically terminate at the beginning of the next business day once the Fund has invested 30% or more of its total assets in weekly liquid assets as of the end of a business day.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee, the fee will be used to help boost the weekly liquid assets of the Fund. The Fund may not accept purchases during the period that a liquidity fee has been imposed.

If the Board imposes a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept purchase or redemption orders until the Fund has notified shareholders that the redemption gate has been lifted. Any purchase or redemption orders submitted while a redemption gate is in effect will be cancelled without further notice. If you still wish to purchase or redeem shares once the redemption gate has been lifted, you will need to submit a new purchase or redemption request to the Fund. If a purchase or redemption order is received after the applicable deadline of the Fund, but prior to the imposition of a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, such order will be cancelled without further notice.

Under certain circumstances, the Fund may honor redemption orders (or pay redemptions without adding a liquidity fee to the redemption amount) if the Fund can verify that the redemption order was submitted to the Fund before the Board imposed a liquidity fee or suspended redemptions.

The Board generally expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would be imposed, if at all, during periods of extraordinary market stress. The Board expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would typically be imposed only after the Fund has notified shareholders that a liquidity fee or redemption gate will be imposed (which may not be until the beginning of the next business day following the announcement that the Board has imposed the liquidity fee or redemption gate). However, the Board may, in its discretion, impose a liquidity fee or redemption gate at any time after the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets.

Announcements regarding the imposition of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, or the termination of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, will be filed with the SEC on Form N-CR and will be available on the website of the Fund (www.blackrock.com/cash). In addition, the Fund will make such announcements through a supplement to its registration statement and may further communicate such actions through other means.

Short-Term Trading Policy

 

Market timing is an investment technique involving frequent short-term trading of mutual fund shares designed to exploit market movements or inefficiencies in the way a mutual fund prices its shares. The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders and has determined that due to (i) the nature of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and (ii) the nature of the Fund’s shareholders, it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by the Fund’s shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time the Fund by shareholders would result in a negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders. As a result, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures to deter short-term trading in the Fund. There can be no assurances, however, that the Fund may not, on occasion, serve as a temporary or short-term investment vehicle for those who seek to market time funds offered by other investment companies.

Master/Feeder Structure

 

The Fund may in the future determine to become a “feeder” fund that invests all of its assets in another open-end investment company (a “master fund”) that has the same investment objective and strategies as the Fund. This structure is sometimes called a “master/feeder” structure. Investors in a feeder fund will acquire an indirect interest in the corresponding master fund. In a master/feeder structure, all investments will be made at the master level and the Fund’s investment results will correspond directly to the investment results of the underlying master in which it invests. A feeder fund may withdraw from its master fund at any time and may invest all of its assets in another pooled investment vehicle or retain an investment adviser to manage its assets directly.

A master fund may accept investments from other feeder funds, and all the feeder funds of a given master fund bear the master fund’s expenses in proportion to their assets. This structure may enable the feeder funds to reduce costs through economies of scale. A larger investment portfolio may also reduce certain transaction costs to the extent that contributions to and redemptions from a master fund from different feeder funds may offset each other and produce a lower net cash flow.

However, each feeder fund can set its own transaction minimums, fund specific expenses, and other conditions. This means that one feeder fund could offer access to the same master fund on more attractive terms, or could experience

 

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better performance, than another feeder fund. In addition, large purchases or redemptions by one feeder fund could negatively affect the performance of other feeder funds that invest in the same master fund.

Whenever a master fund holds a vote of its feeder funds, a fund that is a feeder fund investing in that master fund will pass the vote through to its own shareholders. Smaller feeder funds may be harmed by the actions of larger feeder funds. For example, a larger feeder fund could have more voting power than a fund that is a feeder fund over the operations of its master fund.

 

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Management of the Fund

 

 

 

BlackRock

 

BlackRock, the Fund’s investment adviser, manages the Fund’s investments and its business operations subject to the oversight of the Board. While BlackRock is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the trading, research and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management with respect to certain portfolio securities. BlackRock is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, a registered investment adviser, was organized in 1994 to perform advisory services for investment companies. BlackRock and its affiliates had approximately $5.975 trillion in investment company and other portfolio assets under management as of December 31, 2018.

BlackRock serves as manager to the Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement (the “Management Agreement”), which provides that BlackRock is entitled to receive for the services it provides to the Fund a fee at the annual rate of [    ]% of the average daily net assets of the Fund computed daily and payable monthly. BlackRock is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio.

BlackRock has contractually agreed to cap Miscellaneous Other Expenses (excluding: (i) interest, taxes, dividends tied to short sales, brokerage commissions, and other expenditures which are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (ii) expenses incurred directly or indirectly by the Fund as a result of investments in other investment companies and pooled investment vehicles; (iii) other expenses attributable to, and incurred as a result of, the Fund’s investments; and (iv) extraordinary expenses (including litigation expenses) not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, if any) of Direct Shares of the Fund at the level shown below and in the Fund’s fees and expenses table in the “Fund Overview” section of this prospectus. Items (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) in the preceding sentence are referred to in this prospectus as “Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses.” To achieve this expense cap, BlackRock has agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses if the Miscellaneous Other Expenses exceed a certain limit.

With respect to the Fund, BlackRock has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Miscellaneous Other Expenses to the amount noted in the table below.

 

      Contractual Cap1 on
Miscellaneous Other
Expenses2 (excluding
Dividend Expense, Interest
Expense, Acquired Fund
Fees and Expenses and
certain other Fund expenses)

Direct

       [     ]%

 

1.   The contractual cap is in effect through [    ]. The contractual agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

2.   As a percentage of average daily net assets.

BlackRock and the Distributor have voluntarily agreed to waive a portion of their respective fees and/or reimburse operating expenses to enable the Fund to maintain minimum levels of daily net investment income. BlackRock and the Distributor may discontinue this voluntary waiver and/or reimbursement at any time without notice.

A discussion of the basis for the Board’s approval of the Management Agreement with BlackRock will be included in the Fund’s first shareholder report following commencement of operations.

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.

BlackRock or its affiliates will use at least 5% of BlackRock’s net revenue from its management fee from the Fund to purchase and then retire carbon offsets either directly or through a third-party organization. These purchases will be made at least annually, with BlackRock maintaining the option to increase, decrease or terminate these purchases in its sole discretion at any time.

 

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Additionally, BlackRock may at its discretion enter into a license agreement (a “License Agreement”) with one or more charitable organizations that is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 from time to time. Pursuant to the relevant License Agreement, the charitable organization would grant BlackRock a license permitting BlackRock to use the charitable organization’s name and logo. BlackRock will pay a license fee to each such charitable organization for such use.

No charitable organization will provide any investment advisory services to BlackRock or the Fund or participate in, or have any influence on, the day-to-day operations of, 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 Investment Company 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 received by the Defendants in the period beginning one year prior to the filing of the lawsuit and ending on the date of judgment, along with 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

 

The investment activities of BlackRock and its affiliates (including BlackRock, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Affiliates”)) and their directors, officers and employees and of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (which, through a subsidiary, has a significant economic interest in BlackRock, Inc.) and its subsidiaries (each with The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., an “Entity” and collectively, the “Entities”) 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.

BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow investment programs similar to that of the Fund. BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities 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. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities act 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, index provider, agent and/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 an Affiliate or an Entity performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. Specifically, the Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an Affiliate or an Entity has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate or an Entity has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund may also invest in issuances (such as structured notes) by entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides and is compensated for cash management services relating to the proceeds from the sale of such issuances. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate or Entity may have business relationships with, and purchase, or 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 Entities in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities 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. This may include transactions in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies (which may include investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BlackRock, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act). The trading activities of BlackRock and these Affiliates or Entities are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity having positions in certain securities that are senior or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by the Fund.

Neither BlackRock nor any 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. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an

 

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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.

In addition, the Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity or their directors, officers or employees or other clients have an adverse interest. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by clients advised or managed by BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more clients or BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities or their directors, officers or employees, 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 BlackRock, one or more Affiliates or Entities and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions.

Under a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund has retained BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, an Affiliate of BlackRock, to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the securities lending agent will receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates or Entities may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BlackRock, its Affiliates and Entities and their respective directors, officers or employees, may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BlackRock has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the SAI for further information.

Valuation of Fund Investments

 

When you buy shares, you pay the NAV. This is the offering price. Shares are also redeemed at their NAV, minus any applicable deferred sales charge or redemption fee. The Fund calculates the NAV of each class of its shares generally as of 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, based on prices at such time. Shares will not be priced on days the NYSE or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The NAV used in determining your share price is the next one calculated after your purchase or redemption order is received by the Transfer Agent.

The Fund values portfolio securities generally 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 procedures approved by the Board. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values. The Fund may value short-term debt securities with remaining maturities of 60 days or less on the basis of amortized cost.

When valuations are not readily available or are not believed by BlackRock to be reliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BlackRock in accordance with procedures approved by the Board. BlackRock may conclude, for example, that a market 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, if BlackRock believes a market quotation from a broker-dealer or other source is unreliable, where the security or other asset is thinly traded or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent valuation. For this purpose, a “significant event” is deemed to occur if BlackRock determines, in its business judgment prior to or at the time of pricing the Fund’s assets or liabilities, that it is likely that the event will cause a material change to the last valuation or price of one or more assets or liabilities held by the Fund. If such event occurs, those instruments may be fair valued.

Fair value represents 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 NAV.

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Distributions of net investment income derived by the Fund, if any, are declared daily and paid at least monthly and net realized capital gains, if any, will be distributed at least annually. Dividends will be reinvested automatically in the form of additional shares of the same class of the Fund at NAV without a sales charge, unless you instruct the Transfer Agent in writing to pay them in cash. Dividends that are declared but unpaid will remain in the gross assets of the Fund and will, therefore, continue to earn income for the Fund’s shareholders. Shareholders redeeming their shares will receive all dividends declared through the date immediately preceding the date of redemption. The Fund anticipates that a significant amount of the distributions may be taxed as ordinary income, although the Fund may distribute capital gains as well. Capital gains may be taxable to you at different rates depending on how long the Fund held the assets sold.

You will pay tax on dividends from the Fund whether you receive them in cash or additional shares. If you redeem Fund shares or exchange them for shares of another fund, except as discussed below you generally will be treated as having sold your shares and any gain on the transaction may be subject to tax. Fund distributions derived from qualified

 

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dividend income, which consists of dividends received from U.S. corporations and qualifying foreign corporations, and from long-term capital gains are eligible for taxation at a maximum rate of 15% or 20% for individuals, depending on whether their income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are adjusted annually for inflation.

Because the Fund offers and redeems its shares using a floating NAV, a redeeming shareholder may realize gains and losses because of differences between the NAV at which shares are acquired and the NAV at which shares are redeemed. Ordinarily, any gains and losses realized would have to be accounted for separately. In addition, because of the so-called “wash sale” rules, any loss realized by a shareholder on a redemption of Fund shares would ordinarily be disallowed to the extent such shareholder acquired new shares of the Fund within 30 days before or after such a redemption.

The Treasury Department and IRS have determined not to apply the wash sale rules to the redemption of investment company shares if the investment company is regulated as, and holds itself out as, a money market fund under Rule 2a-7 of the Investment Company Act and has a floating rate NAV at the time of redemption. In addition, a shareholder in a money market fund may elect to adopt a simplified, aggregate accounting method under which gains and losses can be netted based on the shareholder’s taxable year rather than reported separately. Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors before deciding to adopt such accounting method.

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee on share redemptions because of a drop in the Fund’s weekly liquid assets below certain levels, the amount that would ordinarily be payable to a redeeming shareholder of the Fund will be reduced, consequently reducing the amount of gain, or increasing the amount of loss, that would otherwise be reportable for income tax purposes. The liquidity fee cannot be separately claimed as a deduction.

Any such liquidity fee will constitute an asset of the Fund and will serve to benefit non-redeeming shareholders. However, the Fund does not intend to distribute such fees to non-redeeming shareholders. Such fees may, however, raise the Fund’s NAV, increasing the taxable income or reducing the deductible losses of shareholders that redeem their shares at a later time when such fees are not being charged. If the Fund receives liquidity fees, it will consider the appropriate tax treatment of such fees to the Fund at such time.

A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on the net investment income (which includes, but is 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 trusts and estates.

Your dividends and redemption proceeds will be subject to backup withholding tax if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or the number you have provided is incorrect.

If you are neither a tax resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity (other than a pass-through entity to the extent owned by U.S. persons), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies. However, certain distributions reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends, interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends and paid to a foreign shareholder may be eligible for an exemption from U.S. withholding tax.

Separately, a 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) certain foreign financial institutions and investment funds, and (ii) certain other foreign entities. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions and investment funds will generally either need to (a) collect and report to the IRS detailed information identifying their U.S. accounts and U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures for identifying U.S. accounts and withhold tax on certain payments made to noncomplying foreign entities and account holders or (b) if an intergovernmental agreement is entered into and implementing legislation is adopted, comply with the agreement and legislation. Other foreign entities will generally either need to provide detailed information identifying each substantial U.S. owner or certify there are no such owners.

This section summarizes some of the consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for individualized tax advice. Consult your tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

 

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Financial Highlights

 

The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus. As a result, no financial performance information is available.

 

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General Information

 

 

 

Shareholder Documents

 

Electronic Access to Annual Reports, Semi-Annual Reports and Prospectuses

Electronic copies of most financial reports and prospectuses are available on BlackRock’s website.

Delivery of Shareholder Documents

The Fund delivers only one copy of shareholder documents, including prospectuses, shareholder reports and proxy statements, to shareholders with multiple accounts at the same address. This practice is known as “householding” and is intended to eliminate duplicate mailings and reduce expenses. Mailings of your shareholder documents may be householded indefinitely unless you instruct us otherwise. If you do not want the mailing of these documents to be combined with those for other members of your household, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7450.

Certain Fund Policies

 

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 is required to obtain sufficient information from shareholders to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its shareholders. This information will be used to verify the identity of investors or, in some cases, the status of financial intermediaries. Such information may be verified using third-party sources. This information will be used only for compliance with the Patriot Act or other applicable laws, regulations and rules in connection with money laundering, terrorism or economic sanctions.

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.

BlackRock Privacy Principles

BlackRock is committed to maintaining the privacy of its current and former fund investors and individual clients (collectively, “Clients”) and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information BlackRock collects, how we protect that information and why in certain cases we share such information with select parties.

If you are located in a jurisdiction where specific laws, rules or regulations require BlackRock to provide you with additional or different privacy-related rights beyond what is set forth below, then BlackRock will comply with those specific laws, rules or regulations.

BlackRock obtains or verifies personal non-public information from and about you from different sources, including the following: (i) information we receive from you on applications, forms or other documents; (ii) information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, or others; (iii) information we receive from a consumer reporting agency; and (iv) from visits to our website.

BlackRock does not sell or disclose to non-affiliated third parties any non-public personal information about its Clients, except as permitted by law, or as is necessary to respond to regulatory requests or to service Client accounts. These non-affiliated third parties are required to protect the confidentiality and security of this information and to use it only for its intended purpose.

We may share information with our affiliates to service your account or to provide you with information about other BlackRock products or services that may be of interest to you. In addition, BlackRock restricts access to non-public personal information about its Clients to those BlackRock employees with a legitimate business need for the information. BlackRock maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that are designed to protect the non-public personal information of its Clients, including procedures relating to the proper storage and disposal of such information.

Statement of Additional Information

 

If you would like further information about the Fund, including how it invests, please see the SAI.

For a discussion of the Fund’s policies and procedures regarding the selective disclosure of its portfolio holdings, please see the SAI.

 

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Glossary

 

 

 

This glossary contains an explanation of some of the common terms used in this prospectus. For additional information about the Fund, please see the SAI.

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses — fees and expenses charged by other investment companies in which the Fund invests a portion of its assets.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses — expenses that cover the costs of operating the Fund.

Daily Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within one business day; and (iv) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within one business day on pending sales of portfolio securities.

Dollar-Weighted Average Life — the dollar-weighted average maturity of the Fund’s portfolio calculated without reference to the exceptions used for variable or floating rate securities regarding the use of interest rate reset dates in lieu of the security’s actual maturity date. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average.

Dollar-Weighted Average Maturity — the average maturity of the Fund is the average amount of time until the organizations that issued the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio must pay off the principal amount of the debt. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average. To calculate the dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may treat a variable or floating rate security as having a maturity equal to the time remaining to the security’s next interest rate reset date rather than the security’s actual maturity.

Eligible Securities — Applicable Eligible Securities include:

 

 

securities with a remaining maturity of 397 calendar days or less (with certain exceptions) that BlackRock determines present minimal credit risks to the Fund after considering certain factors;

 

 

securities issued by other registered investment companies that are money market funds; or

 

 

securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Interest Expense — the cost of borrowing money to buy additional securities, primarily through reverse repurchase agreements (under which the Fund sells securities and agrees to buy them back at a particular date and price).

Management Fee — a fee paid to BlackRock for managing the Fund.

Other Expenses — include accounting, administration, transfer agency, custody, professional and registration fees.

Weekly Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) U.S. Government securities issued by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the U.S. Government pursuant to authority granted by the U.S. Congress, that are issued at a discount to the principal amount to be repaid at maturity without provision for the payment of interest and have a remaining maturity of 60 days or less; (iv) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within five business days; and (v) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within five business days on pending sales of portfolio securities.

 

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For More Information

 

 

Fund and Service Providers

 

 

 

THE FUND

BlackRock FundsSM

BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Written Correspondence:

P.O. Box 9889

Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8089

Overnight Mail:

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01588

(800) 441-7450

MANAGER

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

TRANSFER AGENT

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc.

301 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

[                ]

[                ]

[                ]

ACCOUNTING SERVICES PROVIDER

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

DISTRIBUTOR

BlackRock Investments, LLC

40 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10022

CUSTODIANS

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

The Bank of New York Mellon

240 Greenwich Street

New York, New York 10286

COUNSEL

Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Avenue

New York, New York 10019-6018

 


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Additional Information

 

 

For more information:

This prospectus contains important information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference. More information about the Fund is available at no charge upon request. This information includes:

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports

These reports contain additional information about the Fund’s investments. The annual report describes the Fund’s performance, lists portfolio holdings, and discusses recent market conditions, economic trends and Fund investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance for the last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

A Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated [    ], 2019, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SAI, which includes additional information about the Fund, may be obtained free of charge, along with the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, by calling (800) 441-7450. The SAI, as supplemented from time to time, is incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

BlackRock Investor Services

Representatives are available to discuss account balance information, mutual fund prospectuses, literature, programs and services available. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time), on any business day. Call: (800) 441-7450.

Purchases and Redemptions

Call BlackRock Liquidity Service Center at (800) 441-7450 or access the BlackRock OnlineTM Trading Platform, available via www.blackrock.com/cash, or a BlackRock OnlineTM Treasury Management Platform.

World Wide Web

General Fund information and specific Fund performance, including the SAI and annual/semi-annual reports, can be accessed free of charge at www.blackrock.com/cash. Mutual fund prospectuses and literature can also be requested via this website.

Written Correspondence

BlackRock FundsSM

P.O. Box 9889

Providence, Rhode Island 02940

Overnight Mail

BlackRock FundsSM

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01588

Portfolio Characteristics and Holdings

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures related to disclosure of portfolio characteristics and holdings is available in the SAI.

For information about portfolio holdings and characteristics, BlackRock fund shareholders and prospective investors may call (800) 882-0052.

Securities and Exchange Commission

You may also view and copy public information about the Fund, including the SAI, by visiting the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of this information can be obtained, for a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. No one is authorized to provide you with information that is different from information contained in this prospectus.

The 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.

INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT FILE # 811-05742

 

 

 

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The information in this document is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This document is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 22, 2019

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

BLACKROCK FUNDSSM

BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

100 Bellevue Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 19809 • Phone No. (800) 441-7762

This Statement of Additional Information of BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses of the Fund, dated [                 ], 2019, as they may be amended or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”), which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or the “SEC”) and can be obtained, without charge, by calling (800) 441-7762 or by writing to the Fund at the above address. The Prospectus is incorporated by reference into this Statement of Additional Information, and Part I of this Statement of Additional Information and the portions of Part II of this Statement of Additional Information that relate to the Fund have been incorporated by reference into the Fund’s Prospectus. The portions of Part II of this Statement of Additional Information that do not relate to the Fund do not form a part of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information, have not been incorporated by reference into the Fund’s Prospectus and should not be relied upon by investors in the Fund.

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 Commission, Commission staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, including court interpretations, and exemptive, no-action or other relief or permission from the Commission, Commission staff or other authority.

 

Class

   Ticker Symbol
Investor A Shares    [                ]
Institutional Shares    [                ]
Direct Shares    [                ]

BLACKROCK ADVISORS, LLC — MANAGER

BLACKROCK INVESTMENTS, LLC — DISTRIBUTOR

The date of this Statement of Additional Information is [                ], 2019.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    Page  

PART I

 

Investment Objective and Policies

    I-1  

Investment Restrictions

    I-3  

Information on Trustees and Officers

    I-5  

Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements

    I-15  

Information on Sales Charges and Distribution Related Expenses

    I-16  

Computation of Offering Price Per Share

    I-17  

Yield Information

    I-17  

Portfolio Transactions

    I-17  

Additional Information

    I-17  

Financial Statements

    I-18  

PART II

 

Investment Risks and Considerations

    II-1  

Management and Other Service Arrangements

    II-14  

Purchase of Shares

    II-27  

Redemption of Shares

    II-45  

Shareholder Services

    II-51  

Determination of Net Asset Value

    II-53  

Yield Information

    II-55  

Portfolio Transactions

    II-56  

Dividends and Taxes

    II-58  

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

    II-62  

General Information

    II-63  

Appendix A — Description of Bond Ratings

    A-1  

Appendix B — Proxy Voting Policies

    B-1  


Table of Contents

PART I: INFORMATION ABOUT BLACKROCK LIQUID ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE FUND

Part I of this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) sets forth information about BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund” or the “Fund”), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”). It includes information about the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”), the advisory and management services provided to and the management fees applicable to the Fund and information about other fees applicable to and services provided to the Fund. This Part I of this SAI should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s Prospectus and those portions of Part II of this SAI that pertain to the Fund.

The Fund is a non-retail, non-government money market fund under Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).

 

I.   Investment Objective and Policies

Please see the section “Details About the Fund — How the Fund Invests” in the Fund’s Prospectus for information about the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

The Fund’s manager is BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock” or the “Manager”).

All securities acquired by the Fund will be determined at the time of purchase by BlackRock to be “Eligible Securities” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”). An “Eligible Security” is a security:

1. With a remaining maturity of 397 calendar days or less (with certain exceptions) that BlackRock determines presents minimal credit risks to the Fund after considering certain factors, which must include an analysis of the capacity of the security’s issuer or guarantor to meet its financial obligations, which analysis must include, to the extent appropriate, consideration of the following factors with respect to the security’s issuer or guarantor:

 

 

Financial condition;

 

 

Sources of liquidity;

 

 

Ability to react to future market-wide and issuer- or guarantor-specific events, including ability to repay debt in a highly adverse situation; and

 

 

Strength of the issuer’s or guarantor’s industry within the economy and relative to economic trends, and issuer’s or guarantor’s competitive position within its industry;

2. That is issued by a registered investment company that is a money market fund; or

3. That issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

* * *

Set forth below is a listing of some of the types of investments and investment strategies that the Fund may use, and the risks and considerations associated with those investments and investment strategies. Please see Part II of this SAI for further information on these investments and investment strategies.

 

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Only information that is clearly identified as applicable to the Fund is considered to form a part of the Fund’s SAI.

 

     Liquid
Environmentally
Aware Fund

Bank Money Instruments

  X

Commercial Paper and Other Short Term Obligations

  X

Cyber Security Issues

  X

Foreign Bank Money Instruments

  X

Foreign Short Term Debt Instruments

  X

Forward Commitments

  X

Interfund Lending Program

  X

Borrowing, to the extent permitted by the Fund’s investment policies and restrictions

  X

Lending, to the extent permitted by the Fund’s investment policies and restrictions

  X

Investment in Other Investment Companies

  X

Municipal Investments

  X

Municipal Securities

  X

Municipal Securities — Derivative Products

  X

Municipal Notes

  X

Municipal Commercial Paper

  X

Municipal Lease Obligations

  X

Municipal Securities — Short-Term Maturity Standards

  X

Municipal Securities — Quality Standards

  X

Municipal Securities — Other Factors

  X

VRDOs and Participating VRDOs

  X

Purchase of Securities with Fixed Price “Puts”

  X

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts

  X

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

  X

Rule 2a-7 Requirements

  X

Securities Lending

  X

Structured Notes

   

Taxable Money Market Securities

  X

U.S. Government Obligations

  X

Variable and Floating Rate Instruments

  X

When-Issued Securities and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments

  X

Regulation Regarding Derivatives. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) subjects advisers to registered investment companies to regulation by the CFTC if a fund that is advised by the investment adviser 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. To the extent the Fund uses CFTC Derivatives, it intends to do so below such prescribed levels and will not market itself as a “commodity pool” or a vehicle for trading such instruments. Accordingly, BlackRock has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) pursuant to Rule 4.5 under the CEA. BlackRock is not, therefore, subject to registration or regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the CEA in respect of the Fund.

 

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II.   Investment Restrictions

The Fund 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% 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, 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.

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 Commission 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 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.) In addition, the Fund

 

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has received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting it to borrow through the Interfund Lending Program (discussed below), subject to the conditions of the exemptive order. 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 Commission 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 Commission). 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 a 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 Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Although it is not believed that the application of the Securities Act provisions described above would cause a fund to be engaged in the business of underwriting, the policy in (5) above will be interpreted not to prevent a 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 Securities Act or is otherwise engaged in the underwriting business to the extent permitted by applicable law.

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, Commission 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. Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, a money market fund that satisfies the applicable diversification requirements of Rule 2a-7 shall be deemed to have satisfied the diversification requirements of the Investment Company Act and the rules adopted thereunder. Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, the Fund will generally limit its purchases of any one issuer’s securities (other than U.S. Government obligations and repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities) to 5% of the Fund’s total assets, except that up to 25% of its total assets may be invested in securities of one issuer for a period of up to three business days; provided that the Fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing exception at any one time. Additionally, pursuant to Rule 2a-7, the Fund will generally not invest more than 10% of its total assets in securities issued by or subject to demand features or guarantees from the institutional that issued the demand feature or guarantee. Under the Investment Company

 

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Act, the Fund cannot change its classification from diversified to non-diversified without shareholder approval (including class approval by preferred shareholders, if any).

Under its non-fundamental investment restrictions, which may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval, the Fund may not:

a. Purchase securities of other investment companies, except to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act. As a matter of policy, however, the Fund will not purchase shares of any registered open-end investment company or registered unit investment trust, in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(F) or (G) (the “fund of funds” provisions) of the Investment Company Act, at any time the Fund has knowledge that its shares are purchased by another investment company investor in reliance on the provisions of subparagraph (G) of Section 12(d)(1).

b. Make short sales of securities or maintain a short position, except to the extent permitted by the Fund’s Prospectus and SAI, 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 BlackRock determines that it is practicable to sell or close out the investment without undue market or tax consequences.

 

III.   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 Investment Company Act (the “Independent Trustees”). The registered investment companies advised by the Manager or its affiliates (the “BlackRock-advised Funds”) are organized into one complex of open-end equity, multi-asset, index and money market funds (the “BlackRock Multi-Asset Complex”), one complex of closed-end funds and non-index fixed-income open-end funds (the “BlackRock Fixed-Income 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 BlackRock Multi-Asset Complex. The Trustees also oversee as board members the operations of the other open-end registered investment companies included in the BlackRock Multi-Asset 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 the Manager to manage the Fund on a day-to-day basis. The Board is responsible for overseeing the Manager, other service providers, the operations of the Fund and associated risks in accordance with the provisions of the Investment Company 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

 

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performance, operations and investment strategies and techniques. The Board also conducts reviews of the Manager and its role in running the operations of the Fund.

Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Fund is the responsibility of the Manager or of sub-advisers or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to the supervision of the Manager. 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 the Manager 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 Trust’s compliance program and reports to the Board regarding compliance matters for the Fund and its service providers. The Board has retained two former independent directors of certain BlackRock-advised Funds to serve as consultants to the Independent Trustees in the performance of their duties to the Fund. The Independent Trustees have engaged independent legal counsel to assist them in performing their oversight responsibilities.

Audit Committee. The members of the Audit Committee (the “Audit Committee”) are Henry R. Keizer (Chair), Neil A. Cotty, Robert M. Hernandez, Kenneth L. Urish and Claire A. Walton, 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 Fund’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 [                ], 20[    ], the Audit Committee met [    ] times.

Governance and Nominating Committee. The members of the Governance and Nominating Committee (the “Governance Committee”) are Cynthia A. Montgomery (Chair), Bruce R. Bond, Susan J. Carter, Collette Chilton and Joseph P. Platt, 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

 

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(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 [                ], 20[    ], the Governance Committee met [    ] times.

Compliance Committee. The members of the Compliance Committee (the “Compliance Committee”) are Lena G. Goldberg (Chair), Bruce R. Bond, Neil A. Cotty, Kenneth L. Urish 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 BlackRock 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 [                ], 20[    ], the Compliance Committee met [    ] times.

Performance Oversight and Contract Committee. The members of the Performance Oversight and Contract Committee (the “Performance Oversight Committee”) are Donald C. Opatrny (Chair), Susan J. Carter, Collette Chilton, Robert M. Hernandez and Joseph P. Platt, 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, 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 [                ], 20[    ], the Performance Oversight Committee met [    ] times.

Executive Committee. The members of the Executive Committee (the “Executive Committee”) are Mark Stalnecker (Chair) and Robert M. Hernandez, both of whom are Independent Trustees, and John M. Perlowski, 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 [                ], 20[    ], the Executive Committee held [no] 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

 

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“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 on the Board.

 

Trustees

 

Experience, Qualifications and Skills

Independent Trustees  
Bruce R. Bond   Bruce R. Bond has served for approximately 20 years on the board of registered investment companies, having served as a member of the boards of certain BlackRock-advised Funds and predecessor funds, including the legacy-BlackRock funds and the State Street Research Mutual Funds. He also has executive management and business experience, having served as president and chief executive officer of several communications networking companies. Mr. Bond also has corporate governance experience from his service as a director of a computer equipment company.
Susan J. Carter   Susan J. Carter 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 also served as trustee to the Pacific Pension Institute from 2014 to 2018. She currently serves as trustee to the Financial Accounting Foundation, Advisory Board Member for the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Tuck School of Business, Board Member for Girls Who Invest, Advisory Board Member for Bridges Fund Management and Practitioner Advisory Board Member for Private Capital Research Institute (“PCRI”). These positions have provided her with insight and perspective on the markets and the economy.
Collette Chilton   Collette 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.
Neil A. Cotty   Neil A. Cotty 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.
Lena G. Goldberg   Lena G. Goldberg has more than 20 years of business and oversight experience, most recently through her service as a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. Prior thereto, she held legal and management positions at FMR LLC/Fidelity Investments as well as positions on the boards of various Fidelity subsidiaries over a 12-year period. She has additional corporate governance experience as a member of board and advisory committees for privately held corporations and non-profit organizations. Ms. Goldberg also has more than 17 years of legal experience as an attorney in private practice, including as a partner in a law firm.
Robert M. Hernandez   Robert M. Hernandez has served for approximately 23 years on the board of registered investment companies, having previously served as chair of the boards of certain BlackRock-advised Funds and predecessor funds and as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Audit and Nominating/Governance Committees of certain predecessor funds, including certain legacy-BlackRock funds. Mr. Hernandez has business and executive experience through his service as group president, chief financial officer, Chairman and vice chairman, among other positions, of publicly-held energy, steel, and metal companies. He has served as a director of other public companies in various industries throughout his career. He also has broad corporate governance experience, having served as a board member of publicly-held energy, insurance, chemicals, metals and electronics companies.

 

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Trustees

 

Experience, Qualifications and Skills

Henry R. Keizer   Henry R. Keizer brings over 40 years of executive, financial, operational, strategic and global expertise gained through his 35 year career at KPMG, a global professional services organization and by his service as a director to both publicly and privately held organizations. He has extensive experience with issues facing complex, global companies and expertise in financial reporting, accounting, auditing, risk management, and regulatory affairs for such companies. Mr. Keizer’s experience also includes service as an audit committee chair to both publicly and privately held organizations across numerous industries including professional services, property and casualty reinsurance, insurance, diversified financial services, banking, direct to consumer, business to business and technology. Mr. Keizer is a certified public accountant and also served on the board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
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 certain BlackRock-advised Funds and predecessor funds, including the legacy Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, L.P. (“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.
Donald C. Opatrny   Donald C. Opatrny has more than 39 years of business, oversight and executive experience, including through his service as president, director and investment committee chair for academic and not-for-profit organizations, and his experience as a partner, managing director and advisory director at Goldman Sachs for 32 years. He also has investment management experience as a board member of Athena Capital Advisors LLC.
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 certain BlackRock-advised Funds and 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.
Mark Stalnecker   Mark 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 certain BlackRock-advised Funds and 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.
Claire A. Walton   Claire A. Walton 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.
Interested Trustees  
Robert Fairbairn   Robert Fairbairn has more than 20 years of experience with BlackRock, Inc. and over 28 years of experience in finance and asset management. In particular, Mr. Fairbairn’s positions as Senior Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. with oversight over BlackRock’s Strategic Partner Program and Strategic Product Management Group, Member of BlackRock’s Global Executive and Global Operating Committees and Co-Chair of BlackRock’s Human Capital Committee provide the Board with a wealth of practical business knowledge and leadership. In addition, Mr. Fairbairn has global investment management and oversight experience through his former positions as Global Head of BlackRock’s Retail and iShares® businesses, Head of BlackRock’s Global Client Group and Chairman of BlackRock’s international businesses. Mr. Fairbairn also serves as a board member for the funds in the BlackRock Fixed-Income Complex.
John M. Perlowski   John M. Perlowski’s experience as Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2009, as the Head of BlackRock Global Accounting and Product 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. Mr. Perlowski also serves as a board member for the funds in the BlackRock Fixed-Income Complex.

 

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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 other investment company directorships.

 

Name and
Year of Birth1,2

 

Position(s)
Held (Length
of Service)3

 

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

 

Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting  of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen

 

Public Company
and Other
Investment
Company
Directorships
Held During
Past Five Years

Independent Trustees        

Mark Stalnecker

1951

  Chair of the Board (Since 2019) and Trustee (Since 2015)   Chief Investment Officer, University of Delaware from 1999 to 2013; Trustee and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committees, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate from 2005 to 2016; Member of the Investment Committee, Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2002; Member of the Investment Committee, Christiana Care Health System from 2009 to 2017; Member of the Investment Committee, Delaware Community Foundation from 2013 to 2014; Director and Chair of the Audit Committee, SEI Private Trust Co. from 2001 to 2014.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

Bruce R. Bond

1946

 

Trustee

(Since 2019)

  Board Member, Amsphere Limited (software) since 2018; Trustee and Member of the Governance Committee, State Street Research Mutual Funds from 1997 to 2005; Board Member of Governance, Audit and Finance Committee, Avaya Inc. (computer equipment) from 2003 to 2007.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

Susan J. Carter

1956

  Trustee
(Since 2016)
  Director, Pacific Pension Institute from 2014 to 2018; Advisory Board Member, Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Tuck School of Business since 1997; Senior Advisor, 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 from 2015 to 2018 and Board Member thereof since 2018; Advisory Board Member, Bridges Fund Management since 2016; Trustee, Financial Accounting Foundation since 2017; Practitioner Advisory Board Member, PCRI since 2017.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

Collette Chilton

1958

  Trustee (Since 2015)   Chief Investment Officer, Williams College since 2006; Chief Investment Officer, Lucent Asset Management Corporation from 1998 to 2006.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

Neil A. Cotty

1954

  Trustee
(Since 2016)
  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

Lena G. Goldberg

1949

 

Trustee

(Since 2019)

  Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School, since 2008; Director, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. since 2013; FMR LLC/Fidelity Investments (financial services) from 1996 to 2008, serving in various senior roles including Executive Vice President – Strategic Corporate Initiatives and Executive Vice President and General Counsel; Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP from 1985 to 1996 and Associate thereof from 1979 to 1985.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

 

I-10


Table of Contents

Name and
Year of Birth1,2

 

Position(s)
Held (Length
of Service)3

 

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

 

Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting  of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen

 

Public Company
and Other
Investment
Company
Directorships
Held During
Past Five Years

Robert M. Hernandez

1944

 

Trustee

(Since 2019)

  Director, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of USX Corporation (energy and steel business) from 1991 to 2001; Director and non-executive Chairman, RTI International Metals, Inc. from 1990 to 2015; Director, TE Connectivity (electronics) from 2006 to 2012.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   Chubb Limited (insurance company); Eastman Chemical Company

Henry R. Keizer

1956

 

Trustee

(Since 2019)

  Director, Park Indemnity Ltd. (captive insurer) since 2010; Director, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (financial and bank holding company) from 2014 to 2016; Director, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants from 2009 to 2011; Director, KPMG LLP (audit, tax and advisory services) from 2004 to 2005 and 2010 to 2012; Director, KPMG International in 2012, Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer thereof from 2010 to 2012 and U.S. Vice Chairman of Audit thereof from 2005 to 2010; Global Head of Audit, KPMGI (consortium of KPMG firms) from 2006 to 2010; Director, YMCA of Greater New York from 2006 to 2010.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   Hertz Global Holdings (car rental); Montpelier Re Holdings, Ltd. (publicly held property and casual reinsurance) from 2013 until 2015; WABCO (commercial vehicle safety systems); Sealed Air Corp. (packaging)

Cynthia A. Montgomery

1952

  Trustee
(Since 2007)
  Professor, Harvard Business School since 1989; Director, McLean Hospital from 2005 to 2012.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. (manufacturing)

Donald C. Opatrny

1952

 

Trustee

(Since 2019)

  Trustee, Vice Chair, Member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Investment Committee, Cornell University since 2004; President, Trustee and Member of the Investment Committee, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum from 2007 to 2014; Member of the Board and Investment Committee, University School from 2007 to 2018; Member of the Investment Committee, Mellon Foundation from 2009 to 2015; Trustee, Artstor (a Mellon Foundation affiliate) from 2010 to 2015; President and Trustee, the Center for the Arts, Jackson Hole from 2011 to 2018; Director, Athena Capital Advisors LLC (investment management firm) since 2013; Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole since 2014; Member of Affordable Housing Supply Board of Jackson, Wyoming since 2017; Member, Investment Funds Committee, State of Wyoming since 2017; Trustee, Phoenix Art Museum since 2018.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

Joseph P. Platt

1947

  Trustee
(Since 2007)
  General Partner, Thorn Partners, LP (private investments) since 1998; Director, WQED Multi-Media (public broadcasting not-for-profit) since 2001; Chair, Basic Health International (non-profit) since 2015.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (reinsurance company); Consol Energy Inc.

Kenneth L. Urish

1951

  Trustee
(Since 2007)
  Managing Partner, Urish Popeck & Co., LLC (certified public accountants and consultants) since 1976; 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 founding in 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

 

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Table of Contents

Name and
Year of Birth1,2

 

Position(s)
Held (Length
of Service)3

 

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

 

Number of
BlackRock-
Advised
Registered
Investment
Companies
(“RICs”)
Consisting  of
Investment
Portfolios
(“Portfolios”)
Overseen

 

Public Company
and Other
Investment
Company
Directorships
Held During
Past Five Years

Claire A. Walton

1957

  Trustee
(Since 2016)
  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 from 2009 to 2018; Director, Woodstock Ski Runners since 2013; Director, Massachusetts Council on Economic Education from 2013 to 2015.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None
Interested Trustees4        

Robert Fairbairn

1965

  Trustee
(Since 2018)
  Senior Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2010; oversees BlackRock’s Strategic Partner Program and Strategic Product Management Group; Member of BlackRock’s Global Executive and Global Operating Committees; Co-Chair of BlackRock’s Human Capital Committee; Member of the Board of Managers of BlackRock Investments, LLC from 2011 to 2018; Global Head of BlackRock’s Retail and iShares® businesses from 2012 to 2016.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

John M. Perlowski

1964

  Trustee
(Since 2015) and President and Chief Executive Officer (Since 2010)
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2009; Head of BlackRock Global Accounting and Product Services since 2009; Advisory Director of Family Resource Network (charitable foundation) since 2009.   [    ] RICs consisting of [    ] Portfolios   None

 

1    The address of each Trustee is c/o BlackRock, Inc., 55 East 52nd Street, New York, New York 10055.
2    Independent Trustees serve until their resignation, retirement, removal or death, or until December 31 of the year in which they turn 75. The Board may determine to extend the terms of Independent Trustees on a case-by-case basis, as appropriate.
3    Following the combination of MLIM and BlackRock, Inc. in September 2006, the various legacy MLIM and legacy BlackRock fund boards were realigned and consolidated into three new fund boards in 2007. Furthermore, effective January 1, 2019, three BlackRock Fund Complexes were realigned and consolidated into two BlackRock Fund Complexes. As a result, although the chart shows the year that each Independent Trustee joined the Board, certain Independent Trustees first became members of the boards of other BlackRock-advised Funds, legacy MLIM funds or legacy BlackRock funds as follows: Bruce R. Bond, 2005; Robert M. Hernandez, 1996; Cynthia A. Montgomery, 1994; Joseph P. Platt, 1999; Kenneth L. Urish, 1999; Lena G. Goldberg, 2016; Henry R. Keizer, 2016; Donald C. Opatrny, 2015.
4    Mr. Fairbairn and Mr. Perlowski are both “interested persons,” as defined in the Investment Company Act, of the Trust based on their positions with BlackRock, Inc. and its affiliates. Mr. Fairbairn and Mr. Perlowski are also board members of the BlackRock Fixed-Income Complex.

Certain biographical and other information relating to the officers of the Trust who are not Trustees is set forth below, including their address and year of birth, principal occupations for at least the last five years and length of time served.

 

Name and
Year of Birth1,2

 

Position(s)
Held (Length
of Service)

 

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

Officers Who Are Not Trustees  

Thomas Callahan

1968

  Vice President
(Since 2016)
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2013; Head of BlackRock’s Global Cash Management Business since 2016; Co-Head of the Global Cash Management Business from 2014 to 2016; Deputy Head of the Global Cash Management Business from 2013 to 2014; Member of the Cash Management Group Executive Committee since 2013; Chief Executive Officer of NYSE Liffe U.S. from 2008 to 2013.

Jennifer McGovern

1977

  Vice President
(Since 2014)
  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.

Neal J. Andrews

1966

  Chief Financial Officer
(Since 2007)
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2006.

 

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Table of Contents

Name and
Year of Birth1,2

 

Position(s)
Held (Length
of Service)

 

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

Jay M. Fife

1970

  Treasurer
(Since 2007)
  Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2007.

Charles Park

1967

  Chief Compliance Officer
(Since 2014)
  Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer for certain BlackRock-advised Funds from 2014 to 2015; Chief Compliance Officer of BlackRock Advisors, LLC and the BlackRock-advised Funds in the BlackRock Multi-Asset Complex and the BlackRock Fixed-Income 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.

John MacKessy

1972

  Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer
(Since 2018)
  Director of BlackRock, Inc. since 2017; Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering at BlackRock, Inc. since 2017; Director of AML Monitoring and Investigations Group of Citibank from 2015 to 2017; Global Anti-Money Laundering and Economic Sanctions Officer for MasterCard from 2011 to 2015.

Benjamin Archibald

1975

  Secretary
(Since 2012)
  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.

 

1    The address of each Officer is c/o BlackRock, Inc., 55 East 52nd Street, New York, New York 10055.
2    Officers of the Trust serve at the pleasure of the Board.

Share Ownership

Information relating to each Trustee’s share ownership in all BlackRock-advised Funds that are overseen by the respective Trustee (“Supervised Funds”) as of December 31, 2018 is set forth in the chart below.

 

Name

    

Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in
Supervised Funds

Independent Trustees:     

Bruce R. Bond1

     [    ]*

Susan J. Carter

     [    ]*

Collette Chilton

     [    ]*

Neil A. Cotty

     [    ]*

Lena G. Goldberg1

     [    ]*

Robert M. Hernandez1

     [    ]*

Henry R. Keizer1

     [    ]*

Cynthia A. Montgomery

     [    ]*

Donald C. Opatrny1

     [    ]*

Joseph P. Platt

     [    ]*

Mark Stalnecker

     [    ]*

Kenneth L. Urish

     [    ]*

Claire A. Walton

     [    ]*
Interested Trustees:     

Robert Fairbairn

     [    ]*

John M. Perlowski

     [    ]*

 

*   To be filed by subsequent amendment.
1    Elected as a Trustee of the Trust effective January 1, 2019.

As of [            ], 2019, 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, 2018, 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.]

 

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Table of Contents

Compensation of Trustees

Effective January 1, 2019, each Trustee who is an Independent Trustee is paid as compensation an annual retainer of $300,000 per year for his or her services as a board member of the BlackRock-advised Funds in the BlackRock Multi-Asset Complex, including the Trust, and a $20,000 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. The Chairs of the Audit Committee, Compliance Committee, Governance Committee and Performance Committee are paid as compensation an additional annual retainer of $30,000, respectively. The Chair of the Boards is paid an additional annual retainer of $120,000.

Prior to January 1, 2019, each Trustee who was an Independent Trustee of the Trust was 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, including the Trust, and a $15,000 board meeting fee for each in-person board meeting attended (and may have received 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 was 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 received $10,000 per year for each standing Committee on which he or she served for up to two standing Committee assignments but was not paid this amount for serving on a Committee which he or she chaired. The Chair of the Board was paid an additional annual retainer of $120,000 and the Chair Elect of the Board was paid an additional annual retainer of $30,000. The Chair of the Audit Committee was paid an additional annual retainer of $40,000 and the Chairs of the Compliance Committee, Governance Committee and Performance Oversight Committee were each paid an additional annual retainer of $30,000. In addition, each Independent Trustee was paid $10,000 for in-person attendance or $2,000 for telephonic attendance at each of three sessions related to the realignment and consolidation of the boards of certain of the BlackRock-advised Funds.

The following table sets forth the compensation the Trust expects to pay the Trustees on behalf of the Fund for the fiscal year ending [            ], 20[ ] and the aggregate compensation paid to them by all BlackRock-advised Funds for the calendar year ended December 31, 2018.

 

Name

    

Compensation
from the Fund

    

Estimated Annual
Benefits upon

Retirement

    

Aggregate
Compensation from
the Fund and
Other BlackRock-
Advised Funds1

Independent Trustees:               

Bruce R. Bond2

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Susan J. Carter

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Collette Chilton

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Neil A. Cotty

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Lena G. Goldberg2,3

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Robert M. Hernandez2

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Rodney D. Johnson4

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Henry R. Keizer2,5

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Cynthia A. Montgomery6

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Donald C. Opatrny2,7

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Joseph P. Platt8

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Robert C. Robb, Jr.9

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Mark Stalnecker10

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Kenneth L. Urish11

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

 

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Table of Contents

Name

    

Compensation
from the Fund

    

Estimated Annual
Benefits upon

Retirement

    

Aggregate
Compensation from
the Fund and
Other BlackRock-
Advised Funds1

Claire A. Walton

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*

Frederick W. Winter9

     $[    ]*      None      $[    ]*
Interested Trustees               

Robert Fairbairn12

     None      None      None

Barbara G. Novick13

     None      None      None

John M. Perlowski

     None      None      None

 

*   To be filed by subsequent amendment
1    For the number of BlackRock-advised Funds from which each Trustee receives compensation, see the Biographical Information chart beginning on page I-10.
2    Messrs. Bond, Hernandez, Keizer and Opatrny and Ms. Goldberg were elected as Trustees of the Trust effective January 1, 2019. They each served as a director or trustee to certain other BlackRock-advised Funds prior to January 1, 2019.
3    Ms. Goldberg was appointed Chair of the Compliance Committee effective January 1, 2019.
4    Mr. Johnson retired as a Trustee of the Trust and as Chair of the Board and Chair of the Executive Committee effective December 31, 2018.
5    Mr. Keizer was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee effective January 1, 2019.
6    Chair of the Governance Committee.
7    Mr. Opatrny was appointed Chair of the Performance Oversight Committee effective January 1, 2019.
8    Mr. Platt served as the Chair of the Compliance Committee through December 31, 2018.
9    Messrs. Robb and Winter retired as Trustees of the Trust effective December 31, 2018 and have been retained as consultants to the Independent Trustees.
10    Mr. Stalnecker was appointed Chair of the Board and Chair of the Executive Committee effective January 1, 2019. He served as Chair Elect of the Board from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018 and served as the Chair of the Performance Oversight Committee through December 31, 2018.
11    Mr. Urish served as the Chair of the Audit Committee through December 31, 2018.
12    Mr. Fairbairn was appointed as a Trustee of the Trust effective February 22, 2018. He served as a director or trustee to certain other BlackRock-advised Funds prior to February 22, 2018.
13    Ms. Novick resigned as a Trustee of the Trust effective February 22, 2018.

 

IV.   Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements

Management Agreement

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has entered into an investment advisory agreement with BlackRock pursuant to which BlackRock provides the Fund with investment advisory services and, subject to the supervision of the Board, supervises and arranges for the day-to-day operations of the Fund (the “Management Agreement”).

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, BlackRock may from time to time, in its sole discretion to the extent permitted by applicable law, appoint one or more sub-advisers, including, without limitation, affiliates of the Manager, to perform investment advisory services with respect to the Fund. BlackRock may terminate any or all sub-advisers in its sole discretion at any time to the extent permitted by applicable law.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not made any payments to BlackRock for management services.

Administration Agreement

BlackRock serves as the Fund’s administrator (in such capacity, the “Administrator”) pursuant to an administration agreement (the “Administration Agreement”). The Administrator has agreed to provide administrative services which may include fund level and class level services. These services may include: furnishing the Fund with clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services (other than such services, if any, provided by the Fund’s Manager, distributor, custodian, transfer agent, other administrator and other service providers); furnishing office facilities and equipment, as necessary, in order to provide such services; providing personnel and supervision of a telephone facility to receive purchase and redemption orders for the Fund’s shares; reviewing the qualifications of, and monitoring and reviewing the services rendered by, certain institutional shareholders to their customers who beneficially own Fund shares; maintaining the Trust’s relationships with third-party industry data services with respect to the Fund; monitoring the investor programs that are offered from time to time in connection with the Fund’s shares; providing oversight and

 

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related support services that are intended to deliver quality service to Fund shareholders; and providing such other services as the Trust may reasonably request on behalf of the Fund. The Administrator may from time to time voluntarily waive administration fees with respect to any share class of the Fund and may voluntarily reimburse the Fund for expenses.

Under the Administration Agreement, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, pays to the Administrator a fee, computed daily and payable monthly, at an aggregate annual rate of [    ]% of the average daily net assets of Investor A Shares and Institutional Shares of the Fund and [    ]% of average daily net assets of Direct Shares of the Fund.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not made any payments to BlackRock for administration services.

The Trust and its service providers may engage third party plan administrators who provide trustee, administrative and recordkeeping services for certain employee benefit, profit-sharing and retirement plans as agents for the Trust with respect to such plans, for the purpose of accepting orders for the purchase and redemption of shares of the Trust.

Accounting Services

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPM”) serves as the accounting services provider for the Fund. Among other services, JPM maintains records of purchases and sales of securities, receipts and disbursements of cash and other debits and credits; keeps accounting journals and ledgers; records capital share transactions; calculates expense caps, waivers and recoupments (if any); computes the Fund’s net income and capital gains and dividends payable; calculates and reports net asset value; works with independent pricing sources; reconciles securities and cash positions with the Fund’s custodian; prepares certain financial statements, notices and reports; and prepares certain tax reports. In connection with its accounting services, JPM also provides certain administrative services.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not made any payments to JPM for accounting services.

Custodians

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (previously defined as JPM), which has its principal offices at 383 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10179, and The Bank of New York Mellon, which has its principal offices at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, each serve as a custodian for the Fund. Among other responsibilities, JPM maintains a custody account or accounts in the name of the Fund, receives and delivers all assets for the Fund upon purchase and upon sale or maturity, and collects and receives all income and other payments and distributions on account of the assets of the Fund. Additionally, The Bank of New York Mellon maintains a custody account or accounts in the name of the Fund for the limited purpose of holding certain cash assets of the Fund.

Transfer Agent

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., which has its principal place of business at 301 Bellevue Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19809, serves as transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent for the Fund.

 

V.   Information on Sales Charges and Distribution Related Expenses

Set forth below is information on sales charges received by the Fund, including the amounts paid to affiliates of the Manager (“affiliates”), if any, for the periods indicated. The Fund’s shares are not subject to sales charges (including any contingent deferred sales charges (“CDSCs”)) with respect to direct purchases of the Fund’s shares. However, a CDSC may be charged upon redemption if an investor purchases $1 million or more of Investor A Shares of a fund sponsored and advised by BlackRock or its affiliates where no initial sales charge was paid at the time of purchase of such fund (an “Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund”) (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) and exchanges such shares

 

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for Investor A Shares of the Fund and subsequently redeems such shares within 18 months after the investor initially acquired such Investor A Shares.

BlackRock Investments, LLC (“BRIL” or the “Distributor”) acts as the Fund’s distributor. As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not assessed any CDSCs on redemptions of Investor A Shares.

Pursuant to the Trust’s Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”), the Trust may pay BRIL and/or the Manager or any other affiliate or significant shareholder of the Manager fees for providing shareholder servicing and distribution-related activities. As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not made any payments pursuant to the Plan.

 

VI.   Computation of Offering Price Per Share

The offering price for the Fund’s share classes is equal to the share class’ net asset value computed by dividing the value of the share class’ net assets by the number of shares of that share class outstanding. For more information on the purchasing and valuation of shares, please see “Purchase of Shares” and “Determination of Net Asset Value” in Part II of this SAI.

 

VII.   Yield Information

The yield on the Fund’s shares normally will fluctuate on a daily basis. Therefore, the yield for any given past period is not an indication or representation by the Fund of future yields or rates of return on its shares. The yield is affected by such factors as changes in interest rates on the Fund’s portfolio securities, average portfolio maturity, the types and quality of portfolio securities held and operating expenses. The yield on Fund shares for various reasons may not be comparable to the yield on bank deposits, shares of other money market funds or other investments. Since the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI, the Fund does not have a seven day yield.

 

VIII.   Portfolio Transactions

See “Portfolio Transactions” in Part II of this SAI for more information.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not held any securities of its regular brokers or dealers (as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the Investment Company Act) or their parents.

 

IX.   Additional Information

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. [                ], with offices located at [                ], serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm.

The Trust

The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on December 22, 1988, and is registered under the Investment Company Act as an open-end, management investment company. Effective January 31, 1998, the Trust changed its name from Compass Capital FundsSM to BlackRock FundsSM. The Trust is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest with a par value of $0.001 per share, which may be divided into different series and classes.

Under Massachusetts law, shareholders of a business trust may, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for the obligations of the Trust. However, the Trust’s Declaration of Trust provides that shareholders shall not be subject to any personal liability in connection with the assets of the Trust for the acts or obligations of the Trust, and that every note, bond, contract, order or other undertaking made by the Trust shall contain a provision to the effect that the shareholders are not personally liable thereunder. The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification out of Trust property of any shareholder held personally liable solely by reason of his being or having been a shareholder and not because of such shareholder’s acts or omissions or some other reason. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust

 

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shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of the Trust, and shall satisfy any judgment thereon.

The Declaration of Trust further provides that all persons having any claim against the Trustees or Trust shall look solely to the Trust property for payment; that no Trustee of the Trust shall be personally liable for or on account of any contract, debt, tort, claim, damage, judgment or decree arising out of or connected with the administration or preservation of the Trust property or the conduct of any business of the Trust; and that no Trustee shall be personally liable to any person for any action or failure to act except by reason of such Trustee’s own bad faith, willful misfeasance, gross negligence or reckless disregard of his duties as a Trustee. With the exception stated, the Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee is entitled to be indemnified against all liabilities and expenses reasonably incurred by such Trustee in connection with the defense or disposition of any proceeding in which he may be involved or with which he may be threatened by reason of his being or having been a Trustee, and that the Trust will indemnify officers, representatives and employees of the Trust to the same extent that trustees are entitled to indemnification.

Principal Shareholders

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has no outstanding shares.

 

X.   Financial Statements

None.

 

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PART II

Part II of this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) contains information about the following funds: BIF Money Fund (“BIF Money”); BlackRock Government Money Market Portfolio, a series of BlackRock Series Fund, Inc.; BlackRock Government Money Market V.I. Fund, a series of BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc.; BlackRock Money Market Portfolio (“Money Market Portfolio”) and BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“LEAF” and, together with Money Market Portfolio, the “BlackRock Funds Portfolios”), each a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”); BlackRock Summit Cash Reserves Fund (“Summit Cash Reserves”), a series of BlackRock Financial Institutions Series Trust (“FIST”); Ready Assets Government Liquidity Fund (“Ready Assets Government Liquidity”); Ready Assets U.S. Treasury Money Fund (“U.S. Treasury Money”); and Retirement Reserves Money Fund (“Retirement Reserves”), a series of Retirement Series Trust.

Throughout this SAI, each of the above listed funds may be referred to as a “Fund” or collectively as the “Funds.”

Each Fund is organized as a Massachusetts business trust, with the exception of BlackRock Series Fund, Inc. and BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc., which are Maryland corporations. For ease and clarity of presentation, common shares of beneficial interest are referred to herein as “shares” and the trustees or directors of each Fund are referred to herein as “Trustees.” BlackRock Advisors, LLC is the manager of each Fund and is referred to as “BlackRock” or the “Manager,” and the management agreement applicable to each Fund is referred to as the “Management Agreement.” The Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, is referred to herein as the “Investment Company Act.” The Securities Act of 1933, as amended, is referred to herein as the “Securities Act.” The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, is referred to herein as the “Exchange Act.” The Securities and Exchange Commission is referred to herein as the “Commission” or the “SEC.”

BIF Money is a “feeder” fund which invests all of its assets in a corresponding “master” portfolio, Master Money LLC (the “Master LLC”), a master limited liability company organized in Delaware. The Master LLC has the same objective and strategies as BIF Money. All of BIF Money’s investments will be made at the level of the Master LLC. This structure is sometimes called a “master/feeder” structure. BIF Money’s investment results will correspond directly to the investment results of the Master LLC. For simplicity, unless the context otherwise requires, this SAI uses the terms “Fund” to include both the “feeder” fund and the “master” portfolio.

In addition to containing information about the Funds, Part II of this SAI contains general information about all funds in the BlackRock-advised fund complex. Certain information contained herein may not be relevant to the Funds.

INVESTMENT RISKS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Set forth below are descriptions of some of the types of investments and investment strategies that one or more of the Funds may use, and the risks and considerations associated with those investments and investment strategies. Please see each Fund’s Prospectus and the “Investment Objectives and Policies” section of Part I of this SAI for further information about each Fund’s investment policies and risks. Information contained in this section about the risks and considerations associated with a Fund’s investments and/or investment strategies applies only to those Funds specifically identified in Part I of this SAI as making each type of investment or using each investment strategy (each, a “Covered Fund”). Information that does not apply to a Covered Fund does not form a part of that Covered Fund’s Statement of Additional Information and should not be relied upon by investors in that Covered Fund.

Only information that is clearly identified as applicable to a Covered Fund is considered to form a part of that Covered Fund’s Statement of Additional Information.

Bank Money Instruments. Certain Funds may invest in U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of U.S. and foreign depository institutions, including commercial and savings banks, savings and loan associations, and other institutions. Such obligations include but are not limited to certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, time deposits, bank notes and deposit notes. For example, the obligations may be issued by (i) U.S. or foreign depository institutions, (ii) foreign branches or subsidiaries of U.S. depository institutions (“Eurodollar” obligations), (iii) U.S. branches or subsidiaries of foreign depository institutions (“Yankeedollar” obligations) or (iv) foreign branches or subsidiaries of foreign depository institutions. Eurodollar and Yankeedollar obligations and obligations of branches or subsidiaries of foreign depository institutions may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch or subsidiary by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulation. Investments in obligations of foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries will only be made if determined to be of comparable quality to other investments permissible for each Fund. BIF Money and Retirement

 

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Reserves may invest only in Eurodollar obligations that, by their terms, are general obligations of the U.S. parent bank. BIF Money may only invest in Yankeedollar obligations issued by U.S. branches or subsidiaries of foreign banks that are subject to state or Federal banking regulations in the U.S. and that by their terms are general obligations of the foreign parent. No Fund will invest more than 25% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of each investment) in obligations of foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries or in obligations of foreign branches or subsidiaries of U.S. depository institutions that are not backed by the U.S. parent. The Funds treat bank money instruments issued by U.S. branches or subsidiaries of foreign banks as obligations issued by domestic banks (not subject to the 25% limitation) if the branch or subsidiary is subject to the same bank regulation as U.S. banks.

Eurodollar and Yankeedollar obligations, as well as other obligations of foreign depository institutions and short term obligations issued by other foreign entities, may involve additional investment risks, including adverse political and economic developments, the possible imposition of withholding taxes on interest income payable on such obligations, the possible seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits and the possible establishment of exchange controls or other foreign governmental laws or restrictions that might adversely affect the repayment of principal and the payment of interest. The issuers of such obligations may not be subject to U.S. regulatory requirements. Foreign branches or subsidiaries of U.S. banks may be subject to less stringent reserve requirements than U.S. banks. U.S. branches or subsidiaries of foreign banks are subject to the reserve requirements of the states in which they are located. There may be less publicly available information about a U.S. branch or subsidiary of a foreign bank or other issuer than about a U.S. bank or other issuer, and such entities may not be subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial record keeping standards and requirements as U.S. issuers. Evidence of ownership of Eurodollar and foreign obligations may be held outside the United States, and the Funds may be subject to the risks associated with the holding of such property overseas. Eurodollar and foreign obligations of the Funds held overseas will be held by foreign branches of each Fund’s custodian or by other U.S. or foreign banks under subcustodian arrangements complying with the requirements of the Investment Company Act.

The Manager will carefully consider the above factors in making investments in Eurodollar obligations, Yankeedollar obligations of foreign depository institutions and other foreign short term obligations, and will not knowingly purchase obligations that, at the time of purchase, are subject to exchange controls or withholding taxes. Generally, a Fund will limit its Yankeedollar investments to obligations of banks organized in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or other industrialized nations.

Bank money instruments in which certain Funds invest must be issued by depository institutions with total assets of at least $1 billion, except that such Funds may invest in certificates of deposit of smaller institutions if such certificates of deposit are Federally insured and if, as a result of such purchase, no more than 10% of total assets (taken at market value), are invested in such certificates of deposit.

Commercial Paper and Other Short Term Obligations. Commercial paper (including variable amount master demand notes and other variable rate securities, with or without forward features) refers to short term unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations, partnerships, trusts or other entities to finance short term credit needs and non-convertible debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with no more than 397 days (13 months) remaining to maturity at the date of purchase. Short term obligations issued by trusts, corporations, partnerships or other entities include mortgage-related or asset-backed instruments, including pass-through certificates such as participations in, or bonds and notes backed by, pools of mortgage, automobile, manufactured housing or other types of consumer loans; credit card or trade receivables or pools of mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities. These structured financings will be supported by sufficient collateral and other credit enhancements, including letters of credit, insurance, reserve funds and guarantees by third parties, to enable such instruments to obtain a quality rating by a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”), if applicable. Some structured financings also use various types of swaps, among other things, to issue instruments that have interest rate, quality or maturity characteristics necessary or desirable for a Fund. These swaps may include so-called credit default swaps that might depend for payment not only on the credit of a counterparty, but also on the obligations of another entity, the “reference entity.”

Cyber Security Issues. With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet to conduct business, each Fund is susceptible to operational, information security and related risks. 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

 

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security failures or breaches by a Fund’s adviser, sub-adviser(s) and other service providers (including, but not limited to, Fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), and the issuers of securities in which the Funds invest, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, interference with a Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, impediments to trading, the inability of Fund shareholders 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, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. While the Funds have 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. Furthermore, the Funds cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Funds and issuers in which the Funds invest. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

Foreign Bank Money Instruments. Foreign bank money instruments refer to U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries, such as, but not limited to, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, time deposits, bank notes and deposit notes. The obligations of such foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries may be the general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch or subsidiary by the terms of the specific obligation or by government regulation. Such investments will only be made if determined to be of comparable quality to other investments permissible for a Fund. A Fund will not invest more than 25% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of each investment) in these obligations. Investments in foreign entities generally involve the same risks as those described above in connection with investments in Eurodollar and Yankeedollar obligations and obligations of foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries. See “Bank Money Instruments.”

Foreign Short Term Debt Instruments. Foreign short term debt instruments refer to U.S. dollar-denominated commercial paper and other short term obligations issued by foreign entities. Such investments are subject to quality standards similar to those applicable to investments in comparable obligations of domestic issuers. These investments generally involve the same risks as those described above in connection with investments in Eurodollar and Yankeedollar obligations and obligations of foreign depository institutions and their foreign branches and subsidiaries. See “Bank Money Instruments.”

Forward Commitments. Certain Funds may purchase or sell money market securities on a forward commitment basis at fixed purchase terms. The purchase or sale will be recorded on the date a Fund enters into the commitment, and the value of the security will thereafter be reflected in the calculation of the Fund’s net asset value. The value of the security on the delivery date may be more or less than its purchase price. A Fund will segregate assets consisting of cash or liquid money market securities having a market value at all times at least equal to the amount of the forward purchase commitment. Although a Fund generally will enter into forward commitments with the intention of acquiring securities for its portfolio, a Fund may dispose of a commitment prior to settlement if the Manager deems it appropriate to do so.

There can be no assurance that a security purchased or sold through a forward commitment will be delivered. The value of securities in these transactions on the delivery date may be more or less than a Fund’s purchase price. The Fund may bear the risk of a decline in the value of the security in these transactions and may not benefit from appreciation in the value of the security during the commitment period.

Interfund Lending Program. Pursuant to an exemptive order granted by the SEC (the “IFL Order”), an open-end BlackRock fund (referred to as a “BlackRock fund” in this subsection), including a Fund, to the extent permitted by its investment policies and restrictions and subject to meeting the conditions of the IFL Order, has the ability to lend money to, and borrow money from, other BlackRock funds pursuant to a master interfund lending agreement (the “Interfund Lending Program”). Under the Interfund Lending Program, BlackRock funds may lend or borrow money for temporary purposes directly to or from other BlackRock funds (an “Interfund Loan”). All Interfund Loans would consist only of uninvested cash reserves that the lending BlackRock fund otherwise would invest in short-term repurchase agreements or other short-term instruments. Although the Funds may, to the extent permitted by their investment policies, participate in the Interfund Lending Program as borrowers or lenders, they typically will not need to participate as borrowers because the Funds are money market funds and are required to comply with the liquidity provisions of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act.

If a BlackRock fund has outstanding bank borrowings, any Interfund Loans to such BlackRock fund would: (a) be at an interest rate equal to or lower than that of any outstanding bank loan, (b) be secured at least on an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding bank loan that requires collateral, (c) have a maturity no longer than any outstanding bank loan (and in any event not over seven days), and (d) provide that, if an event of default occurs

 

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under any agreement evidencing an outstanding bank loan to the BlackRock fund, that event of default will automatically (without need for action or notice by the lending BlackRock fund) constitute an immediate event of default under the interfund lending agreement, entitling the lending BlackRock fund to call the Interfund Loan immediately (and exercise all rights with respect to any collateral), and cause such call to be made if the lending bank exercises its right to call its loan under its agreement with the borrowing BlackRock fund.

A BlackRock fund may borrow on an unsecured basis through the Interfund Lending Program only if its outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets, provided that if the BlackRock fund has a secured loan outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another BlackRock fund, the borrowing BlackRock fund’s borrowing will be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding loan that requires collateral. If a borrowing BlackRock fund’s total outstanding borrowings immediately after an Interfund Loan under the Interfund Lending Program exceed 10% of its total assets, the BlackRock fund may borrow through the Interfund Lending Program on a secured basis only. A BlackRock fund may not borrow under the Interfund Lending Program or from any other source if its total outstanding borrowings immediately after the borrowing would be more than 3313% of its total assets or any lower threshold provided for by the BlackRock fund’s investment restrictions.

No BlackRock fund may lend to another BlackRock fund through the Interfund Lending Program if the loan would cause the lending BlackRock fund’s aggregate outstanding loans through the Interfund Lending Program to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan. A BlackRock fund’s Interfund Loans to any one BlackRock fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending BlackRock fund’s net assets. The duration of Interfund Loans will be limited to the time required to receive payment for securities sold, but in no event more than seven days, and for purposes of this condition, loans effected within seven days of each other will be treated as separate loan transactions. Each Interfund Loan may be called on one business day’s notice by a lending BlackRock fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing BlackRock fund.

The limitations described above and the other conditions of the IFL Order permitting interfund lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund lending for both the lending BlackRock fund and the borrowing BlackRock fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. When a BlackRock fund borrows money from another BlackRock fund under the Interfund Lending Program, there is a risk that the Interfund Loan could be called on one day’s notice, in which case the borrowing BlackRock fund may have to seek to borrow from a bank, which would likely involve higher rates, seek an Interfund Loan from another BlackRock fund, or liquidate portfolio securities if no lending sources are available to meet its liquidity needs. Interfund Loans are subject to the risk that the borrowing BlackRock fund could be unable to repay the loan when due, and a delay in repayment could result in a lost opportunity by the lending BlackRock fund or force the lending BlackRock fund to borrow or liquidate securities to meet its liquidity needs. No BlackRock fund may borrow more than the amount permitted by its investment restrictions.

Investment in Other Investment Companies. Each Fund may, subject to applicable law, invest in other investment companies (including investment companies managed by BlackRock and its affiliates), including money market funds and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”), which are typically open-end funds or unit investment trusts listed on a stock exchange. In accordance with the Investment Company Act, a Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities of other investment companies (measured at the time of such investment). In addition, under the Investment Company Act a Fund may not acquire securities of an investment company if such acquisition would cause the Fund to own more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of such investment company and a Fund may not invest in another investment company if such investment would cause more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets to be invested in securities of such investment company. (These limits do not restrict a feeder fund from investing all of its assets in shares of its master portfolio.) In addition to the restrictions on investing in other investment companies discussed above, a Fund may not invest in a registered closed-end investment company if such investment would cause the Fund and other BlackRock-advised investment companies to own more than 10% of the total outstanding voting stock of such closed-end investment company. Pursuant to the Investment Company Act (or alternatively, pursuant to exemptive orders received from the Commission) these percentage limitations do not apply to investments in affiliated money market funds, and under certain circumstances, do not apply to investments in affiliated investment companies, including ETFs. In addition, many third-party ETFs have obtained exemptive relief from the Commission to permit unaffiliated funds (such as the Funds) to invest in their shares beyond the statutory limits, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to contractual arrangements between the ETFs and the investing funds. A Fund may rely on these exemptive orders in investing in ETFs. Further, under certain circumstances a Fund may be able to rely on certain provisions of the Investment Company Act to invest in shares of unaffiliated investment companies beyond the statutory limits noted above, but subject to certain other statutory restrictions.

 

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As with other investments, investments in other investment companies are subject to market and selection risk.

Shares of investment companies, such as closed-end fund investment companies, that trade on an exchange may at times be acquired at market prices representing premiums to their net asset values. In addition, investment companies held by a Fund that trade on an exchange could trade at a discount from net asset value, and such discount could increase while the Fund holds the shares. If the market price of shares of an exchange-traded investment company decreases below the price that the Fund paid for the shares and the Fund were to sell its shares of such investment company at a time when the market price is lower than the price at which it purchased the shares, the Fund would experience a loss.

In addition, if a Fund acquires shares in investment companies, including affiliated investment companies, shareholders would bear both their proportionate share of expenses in the Fund and, indirectly, the expenses of such investment companies. Such expenses, both at the Fund level and acquired investment company level, would include management and advisory fees, unless such fees have been waived by BlackRock. Please see the relevant Fund’s Prospectus to determine whether any such management and advisory fees have been waived by BlackRock. Investments by a Fund in wholly owned investment entities created under the laws of certain countries will not be deemed an investment in other investment companies. Pursuant to guidance issued by the staff of the Commission, fees and expenses of money market funds used for the investment of cash collateral received in connection with loans of Fund securities are not treated as “acquired fund fees and expenses,” which are fees and expenses charged by other investment companies and pooled investment vehicles in which a Fund invests a portion of its assets.    

To the extent shares of a Fund are held by an affiliated fund, the ability of the Fund itself to purchase other affiliated investment companies may be limited. In addition, a fund-of-funds (e.g., an investment company that seeks to meet its investment objective by investing significantly in other investment companies) may be limited in its ability to purchase affiliated underlying funds if such affiliated underlying funds themselves own shares of affiliated funds.

A number of publicly traded closed-end investment companies have been organized to facilitate indirect foreign investment in developing countries, and certain of such countries, such as Thailand, South Korea, Chile and Brazil, have specifically authorized such funds. There also are investment opportunities in certain of such countries in pooled vehicles that resemble open-end investment companies. The restrictions on investments in securities of investment companies set forth above may limit opportunities for a Fund to invest indirectly in certain developing countries.

Municipal Investments

Municipal Securities. Certain Funds invest in short term municipal obligations issued by or on behalf of the states, their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities and obligations of other qualifying issuers, such as issuers located in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, the interest on which (and/or, in the case of property taxes, the value of which) is excludable, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, from gross income for purposes of Federal income taxes and the applicable state’s income taxes (“State Taxes”). Obligations that pay interest that is excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes are referred to herein as “Municipal Securities,” and obligations that pay interest that is excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes and are exempt from the applicable State Taxes are referred to as “State Municipal Securities.” Unless otherwise indicated, references to Municipal Securities shall be deemed to include State Municipal Securities.

Municipal Securities include debt obligations issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including construction of a wide range of public facilities, refunding of outstanding obligations and obtaining funds for general operating expenses and loans to other public institutions and facilities. In addition, certain types of bonds are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to finance various facilities operated for private profit. Such obligations are included within the term Municipal Securities if the interest paid thereon is excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes.

The two principal classifications of Municipal Securities are “general obligation” bonds and “revenue” or “special obligation” bonds. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its faith, credit and taxing power for the repayment of principal and the payment of interest. Revenue or special obligation bonds are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise tax or other specific revenue source such as from the user of the facility being financed. Private activity bonds (or “industrial development bonds” under pre-1986 law) are in most cases revenue bonds and do not generally constitute the pledge of the credit or taxing power of the issuer of such bonds. The repayment of the principal and the payment of interest on such private activity bonds depends solely on the ability of the user of the facilities financed by the bonds to meet its financial obligation and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property so financed as security for such payment. In addition, private activity bonds may pay interest that is subject to the Federal

 

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alternative minimum tax. A Fund’s portfolio may include “moral obligation” bonds, which are normally issued by special purpose public authorities. If an issuer of moral obligation bonds is unable to meet its debt service obligations from current revenues, it may draw on a reserve fund, the restoration of which is a moral commitment but not a legal obligation of a state or municipality.

Yields on Municipal Securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including the general condition of the money market and of the municipal bond market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation, and the rating of the issuer. The ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objective is also dependent on the continuing ability of the issuers of the Municipal Securities in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and the repayment of principal when due. There are variations in the risks involved in holding Municipal Securities, both within a particular classification and between classifications, depending on numerous factors. Furthermore, the rights of holders of Municipal Securities and the obligations of the issuers of such Municipal Securities may be subject to applicable bankruptcy, insolvency and similar laws and court decisions affecting the rights of creditors generally, and such laws, if any, which may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures affecting specifically the rights of holders of Municipal Securities.

A Fund’s ability to distribute dividends exempt from Federal income tax will depend on the exclusion from gross income of the interest income that it receives on the Municipal Securities in which it invests. A Fund will only purchase a Municipal Security if it is accompanied by an opinion of counsel to the issuer, which is delivered on the date of issuance of that security, that interest on such securities is excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes (the “tax exemption opinion”).

Events occurring after the date of issuance of the Municipal Securities, however, may cause the interest on such securities to be includable in gross income for Federal income tax purposes. For example, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) establishes certain requirements, such as restrictions as to the investment of the proceeds of the issue, limitations as to the use of proceeds of such issue and the property financed by such proceeds, and the payment of certain excess earnings to the Federal government, that must be met after the issuance of the Municipal Securities for interest on such securities to remain excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes. The issuers and the conduit borrowers of the Municipal Securities generally covenant to comply with such requirements and the tax exemption opinion generally assumes continuing compliance with such requirements. Failure to comply with these continuing requirements, however, may cause the interest on such Municipal Securities to be includable in gross income for Federal income tax purposes retroactive to their date of issue.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has an ongoing enforcement program that involves the audit of tax exempt bonds to determine whether an issue of bonds satisfies all of the requirements that must be met for interest on such bonds to be excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes. From time to time, some of the Municipal Securities held by a Fund may be the subject of such an audit by the IRS, and the IRS may determine that the interest on such securities is includable in gross income for Federal income tax purposes either because the IRS has taken a legal position adverse to the conclusion reached by the counsel to the issuer in the tax exemption opinion or as a result of an action taken or not taken after the date of issue of such obligation.

If interest paid on a Municipal Security in which a Fund invests is determined to be taxable subsequent to the Fund’s acquisition of such security, the IRS may demand that such Fund pay taxes on the affected interest income and, if the Fund agrees to do so, its yield could be adversely affected. If the interest paid on any Municipal Security held by a Fund is determined to be taxable, such Fund will dispose of the security as soon as practicable. A determination that interest on a security held by a Fund is includable in gross income for Federal or state income tax purposes retroactively to its date of issue may, likewise, cause a portion of prior distributions received by shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt.

From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the Federal income tax exclusion for interest on Municipal Securities. Similar proposals may be introduced in the future. If such a proposal were enacted, the ability of each Fund to pay “exempt-interest dividends” would be affected adversely and the Fund would re-evaluate its investment objectives and policies and consider changes in structure. See “Dividends and Taxes — Taxes.”

Municipal Securities — Derivative Products. Derivative Products are typically structured by a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution. A Derivative Product generally consists of a trust or partnership through which a Fund holds an interest in one or more underlying bonds coupled with a right to sell (“put”) the Fund’s interest in the underlying bonds at par plus accrued interest to a financial institution (a “Liquidity Provider”). Typically, a Derivative Product is structured as a trust or partnership that provides for pass-through tax-exempt income. There are currently three principal types of derivative structures: (1) “Tender Option Bonds,” which are instruments that grant the holder thereof the right to put an underlying bond at par plus accrued interest at specified intervals to a Liquidity Provider; (2) “Swap Products,” in which the trust or partnership swaps the payments

 

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due on an underlying bond with a swap counterparty who agrees to pay a floating municipal money market interest rate; and (3) “Partnerships,” which allocate to the partners portions of income, expenses, capital gains and losses associated with holding an underlying bond in accordance with a governing agreement. A Fund may also invest in other forms of short term Derivative Products eligible for investment by money market funds.

Investments in Derivative Products raise certain tax, legal, regulatory and accounting issues that may not be presented by investments in municipal bonds. There is some risk that certain issues could be resolved in a manner that could adversely impact the performance of a Fund. For example, the tax-exempt treatment of the interest paid to holders of Derivative Products is premised on the legal conclusion that the holders of such Derivative Products have an ownership interest in the underlying bonds. Were the IRS or any state taxing authority to issue an adverse ruling or take an adverse position with respect to the taxation of Derivative Products, there is a risk that the interest paid on such Derivative Products or, in the case of property taxes, the value of such Fund to the extent represented by such Derivative Products, would be deemed taxable at the Federal and/or state level.

Municipal Notes. Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the note may not be fully repaid and a Fund may lose money.

Municipal Commercial Paper. Municipal commercial paper is generally unsecured and issued to meet short term financing needs. The lack of security presents some risk of loss to a Fund since, in the event of an issuer’s bankruptcy, unsecured creditors are repaid only after the secured creditors are paid out of the assets, if any, that remain.

Municipal Lease Obligations. Also included within the general category of State Municipal Securities are Certificates of Participation (“COPs”) issued by governmental authorities or entities to finance the acquisition or construction of equipment, land and/or facilities. The COPs represent participations in a lease, an installment purchase contract or a conditional sales contract (hereinafter collectively called “lease obligations”) relating to such equipment, land or facilities. Although lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the issuer for which the issuer’s unlimited taxing power is pledged, a lease obligation is frequently backed by the issuer’s covenant to budget for, appropriate and make the payments due under the lease obligation. However, certain lease obligations contain “non-appropriation” clauses that provide that the issuer has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a yearly basis. Although “non-appropriation” lease obligations are secured by the leased property, disposition of the property in the event of foreclosure might prove difficult. The securities represent a type of financing that has not yet developed the depth of marketability associated with more conventional securities. Certain investments in lease obligations may be illiquid.

Municipal Securities — Short-Term Maturity Standards. All of the investments of a Fund in Municipal Securities will be in securities with remaining maturities of 397 days (13 months) or less. The dollar-weighted average maturity of each Fund’s portfolio will be 60 days or less. For purposes of this investment policy, an obligation will be treated as having a maturity earlier than its stated maturity date if such obligation has technical features that, in the judgment of the Manager, will result in the obligation being valued in the market as though it has such earlier maturity.

The maturities of Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”) (including Participating VRDOs) are deemed to be the longer of (i) the notice period required before a Fund is entitled to receive payment of the principal amount of the VRDOs on demand or (ii) the period remaining until the VRDO’s next interest rate adjustment. If not redeemed by a Fund through the demand feature, VRDOs mature on a specified date, which may range up to 30 years from the date of issuance. See “VRDOs and Participating VRDOs” below.

Municipal Securities — Quality Standards. A Fund’s portfolio investments in municipal notes and short term tax-exempt commercial paper will be limited to those obligations that are (i) secured by a pledge of the full faith and credit of the United States or (ii) otherwise are determined by the Manager to present minimal credit risks to the Fund. A Fund’s investments in municipal bonds will be in securities that have been determined by the Manager to present minimal credit risks to the Fund. In addition, certain Funds may require that portfolio investments (or their issuers) receive minimum credit ratings from one or more NRSROs, or if not rated, are determined by the Manager to be of comparable quality to securities that have received such rating(s). Certain tax-exempt obligations (primarily VRDOs and Participating VRDOs) may be entitled to the benefit of letters of credit or similar credit enhancements issued by financial institutions. In such instances, in assessing the quality of such instruments, the Trustees and the Manager will take into account not only the creditworthiness of the issuers, but also the creditworthiness and type of obligation of the financial institution. The type of obligation of the financial institution concerns, for example, whether the letter of credit or similar credit enhancement being issued is conditional or unconditional. For a description of debt ratings, see Appendix A —“Description of Bond Ratings.”

 

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Certain Funds may not invest in any security issued by a depository institution unless such institution is organized and operating in the United States, has total assets of at least $1 billion and is federally insured. While the types of money market securities in which the Funds invest generally are considered to have low principal risk, such securities are not completely risk free. There is a risk of the failure of issuers or credit enhancers to meet their principal and interest obligations. With respect to repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts, there is also the risk of the failure of the parties involved to repurchase at the agreed-upon price, in which event each Fund may suffer time delays and incur costs or possible losses in connection with such transactions.

Municipal Securities — Other Factors. Management of the Funds will endeavor to be as fully invested as reasonably practicable in order to maximize the yield on each Fund’s portfolio. Not all short term municipal securities trade on the basis of same day settlements and, accordingly, a portfolio of such securities cannot be managed on a daily basis with the same flexibility as a portfolio of money market securities, which can be bought and sold on a same day basis. There may be times when a Fund has uninvested cash resulting from an influx of cash due to large purchases of shares or the maturing of portfolio securities. A Fund also may be required to maintain cash reserves or incur temporary bank borrowings to make redemption payments, which are made on the same day the redemption request is received. Such inability to be invested fully would lower the yield on such Fund’s portfolio.

Because certain Funds may at times invest a substantial portion of their assets in Municipal Securities secured by bank letters of credit or guarantees, an investment in a Fund should be made with an understanding of the characteristics of the banking industry and the risks that such an investment in such credit enhanced securities may entail. Banks are subject to extensive governmental regulations that may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments that may be made and interest rates and fees that may be charged. The profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. Furthermore, general economic conditions play an important part in the operations of this industry and exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers might affect a bank’s ability to meet its obligations under a letter of credit.

Changes to the Code may limit the types and volume of securities qualifying for the Federal income tax exemption of interest; this may affect the availability of Municipal Securities for investment by the Funds, which could, in turn, have a negative impact on the yield of the portfolios. A Fund reserves the right to suspend or otherwise limit sales of its shares if, as a result of difficulties in acquiring portfolio securities or otherwise, it is determined that it is not in the interests of the Fund’s shareholders to issue additional shares.

VRDOs and Participating VRDOs. VRDOs are tax-exempt obligations that contain a floating or variable interest rate adjustment formula and right of demand on the part of the holder thereof to receive payment of the unpaid balance plus accrued interest upon a short notice period not to exceed seven days. There is, however, the possibility that because of default or insolvency the demand feature of VRDOs and Participating VRDOs (described below) may not be honored. The interest rates are adjustable at intervals (ranging from daily to one year) to some prevailing market rate of the VRDOs at approximately the par value of the VRDOs on the adjustment date. The adjustment may be based upon the Public Securities Index or some other appropriate interest rate adjustment index. Each Fund may invest in all types of tax-exempt instruments currently outstanding or to be issued in the future that satisfy its short term maturity and quality standards.

Participating VRDOs provide a Fund with a specified undivided interest (up to 100%) in the underlying obligation and the right to demand payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest on the Participating VRDOs from a financial institution upon a specified number of days’ notice, not to exceed seven days. In addition, a Participating VRDO is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guaranty of the financial institution. A Fund would have an undivided interest in an underlying obligation and thus participate on the same basis as the financial institution in such obligation except that the financial institution typically retains fees out of the interest paid on the obligation for servicing the obligation, providing the letter of credit or issuing the repurchase commitment. Certain Funds have been advised by counsel that they should be entitled to treat the income received on Participating VRDOs as interest from tax-exempt obligations. It is contemplated that no Fund will invest more than a limited amount of its total assets in Participating VRDOs.

VRDOs that contain a right of demand to receive payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest on a notice period exceeding seven days may be deemed to be illiquid investments.

Because of the interest rate adjustment formula on VRDOs (including Participating VRDOs), the VRDOs are not comparable to fixed rate securities. A Fund’s yield on VRDOs will decline and its shareholders will forego the opportunity for capital

 

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appreciation during periods when prevailing interest rates have declined. On the other hand, during periods where prevailing interest rates have increased, a Fund’s yield on VRDOs will increase and its shareholders will have a reduced risk of capital depreciation.

Purchase of Securities with Fixed Price “Puts.” Certain Funds have authority to purchase fixed rate Municipal Securities and, for a price, simultaneously acquire the right to sell such securities back to the seller at an agreed-upon rate at any time during a stated period or on a certain date. Such a right is generally denoted as a fixed price put. Puts with respect to fixed rate instruments are to be distinguished from the demand or repurchase features of VRDOs and Participating VRDOs that enable certain Funds to dispose of such a security at a time when the market value of the security approximates its par value.

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts. Funds may invest in Taxable Securities (as defined below, see “Taxable Money Market Securities”) pursuant to repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements may be entered into only with a member bank of the Federal Reserve System or primary dealer in U.S. Government securities or an affiliate thereof that meets the creditworthiness standards adopted by the Manager. Under such agreements, the bank or primary dealer or an affiliate thereof agrees, upon entering into the contract, to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price, thereby determining the yield during the term of the agreement. This results in a fixed rate of return insulated from market fluctuations during such period. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. In the case of a repurchase agreement, a Fund will require the seller to provide additional collateral if the market value of the securities falls below the repurchase price at any time during the term of the repurchase agreement. One common type of repurchase agreement a Fund may enter into is a “tri-party” repurchase agreement. In “tri-party” repurchase agreements, an unaffiliated third party custodian maintains accounts to hold collateral for the Fund and its counterparties and, therefore, the Fund may be subject to the credit risk of those custodians. In any repurchase transaction to which a Fund is a party, collateral for a repurchase agreement may include cash items and obligations issued by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities. Collateral, however, is not limited to the foregoing and may include, for example, obligations rated below the highest category by NRSROs, including collateral that may be below investment grade. Collateral for a repurchase agreement may also include securities that a Fund could not hold directly without the repurchase obligation. Irrespective of the type of collateral underlying the repurchase agreement, the Fund must determine that a repurchase obligation with a particular counterparty involves minimal credit risk to the Fund and otherwise satisfies any additional credit quality standards applicable to the Fund.

In the event of default by the seller under a repurchase agreement construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities are not owned by the Fund but only constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price. Therefore, a Fund may suffer time delays and incur costs or possible losses in connection with the disposition of the collateral. In the event of a default under a repurchase agreement that is construed to be a collateralized loan, instead of the contractual fixed rate of return, the rate of return to a Fund will depend upon intervening fluctuations of the market value of such security and the accrued interest on the security. In such event, a Fund would have rights against the seller for breach of contract with respect to any losses arising from market fluctuations following the failure of the seller to perform. In general, for Federal income tax purposes, repurchase agreements are treated as collateralized loans secured by the securities “sold.” Therefore, amounts earned under such agreements, even if the underlying securities are tax-exempt securities, will not be considered tax-exempt interest. From time to time, a Fund also may invest in money market securities pursuant to purchase and sale contracts. While purchase and sale contracts are similar to repurchase agreements, purchase and sale contracts are structured so as to be in substance more like a purchase and sale of the underlying security than is the case with repurchase agreements and, with purchase and sale contracts, the purchaser receives any interest on the security paid during the period of the contract.

Repurchase agreements pose certain risks for a Fund that utilizes them. Such risks are not unique to the Fund but are inherent in repurchase agreements. The 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 longer maturities may be subject to greater price fluctuations than higher quality collateral and collateral with shorter maturities. 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, a Fund would retain the status of an unsecured creditor of the counterparty (i.e., the position the 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, a Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and income involved in the transaction.

 

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Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as a Fund, to terminate such agreements, take foreclosure action, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. A Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements with the same parties with whom it may enter into repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, a Fund sells securities to another party and agrees to repurchase them at a mutually agreed-upon date and price. At the time a Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will segregate liquid assets with a value not less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest). Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that (i) the market value of the securities retained in lieu of sale by a Fund may decline below the price of the securities the Fund has sold but is obligated to repurchase and (ii) the price of the securities sold may decline below the price at which the Fund is required to repurchase them. In addition, if the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, such buyer or its trustee or receiver may receive an extension of time to determine whether to enforce a Fund’s obligations to repurchase the securities and the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement may effectively be restricted pending such decision.

Additionally, regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many reverse repurchase agreements, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as a Fund, to terminate such agreements, take foreclosure action, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing reverse repurchase agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

Rule 2a-7 Requirements. Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act sets forth portfolio maturity, liquidity, diversification and quality requirements applicable to all money market funds.

Maturity. Each Fund is managed so that the dollar-weighted average maturity of all of its investments will be 60 days or less, and the dollar-weighted average life of all of its investments will be 120 days or less. In addition, the Funds will not acquire any instrument with a remaining maturity of greater than 397 days. The “dollar-weighted average maturity” of a Fund is the average amount of time until the issuers of the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio must pay off the principal amount of the debt. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in a Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average. To calculate the dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may treat a variable or floating rate security under certain circumstances as having a maturity equal to the time remaining to the security’s next interest rate reset date rather than the security’s actual maturity. “Dollar-weighted average life” of a Fund’s portfolio is calculated without reference to the exceptions used in calculating the dollar-weighted average maturity for variable or floating rate securities regarding the use of interest rate reset dates.

Liquidity. Rule 2a-7 contains a “general liquidity requirement” that requires that each Fund hold securities that are sufficiently liquid to meet reasonably foreseeable shareholder redemptions in light of its obligations under section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act, and any commitments the Fund has made to shareholders. To comply with this general liquidity requirement, each Fund’s adviser or sub-adviser must consider factors that could affect the Fund’s liquidity needs, including characteristics of the Fund’s investors and their likely redemptions. Depending upon the volatility of its cash flows (particularly shareholder redemptions), this provision may require a Fund to maintain greater liquidity than would be required by the daily and weekly minimum liquidity requirements discussed below. The Funds will not acquire any security other than daily liquid assets unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 10% of its total assets would be invested in daily liquid assets. The Funds will not acquire any security other than weekly liquid assets unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 30% of its total assets would be invested in weekly liquid assets. “Daily Liquid Assets” include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within one business day; and (iv) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within one business day on pending sales of portfolio securities. “Weekly Liquid Assets” include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) U.S. Government securities issued by a person

 

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controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the U.S. Government pursuant to authority granted by the U.S. Congress, that are issued at a discount to the principal amount to be repaid at maturity without provision for the payment of interest and have a remaining maturity of 60 days or less; (iv) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within five business days; and (v) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within five business days on pending sales of portfolio securities. No Fund will invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in securities that are illiquid (i.e., securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to them by the Fund).

Portfolio Diversification and Quality. Immediately after the acquisition of any security, taxable money market funds must not have invested more than: Five percent of its total assets in securities issued by the issuer of the security, provided, however, such a fund may invest up to twenty-five percent of its total assets in the securities of a single issuer for a period of up to three business days after the acquisition thereof; provided, further, that the fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing proviso at any time; and ten percent of its total assets in securities issued by or subject to demand features or guarantees from the institution that issued the demand feature or guarantee.

Government Money Market Funds. A government money market fund invests at least 99.5% of its total assets in obligations of the U.S. government, including obligations of the U.S. Treasury and federal agencies and instrumentalities, as well as repurchase agreements collateralized by government securities. Under Rule 2a-7, a government money market fund may, but is not required to, impose liquidity fees and suspend redemptions. The Board of Trustees has determined that each Fund that is a government money market fund will not be subject to liquidity fees and redemption gates under Rule 2a-7.

Securities Lending. Each Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain borrowers determined to be creditworthy by BlackRock, including to borrowers affiliated with BlackRock. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current market value of the securities loaned. No securities loan shall be made on behalf of a Fund if, as a result, the aggregate value of all securities loans of the particular Fund exceeds one-third of the value of such Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received). A Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. Each Fund is paid the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities that it would have otherwise received if the securities were not on loan.

With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower may be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. The Funds are compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, a Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the market value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral received by the Fund for such loans, and uninvested cash, may be invested, among other things, in a private investment company managed by an affiliate of the Manager or in registered money market funds advised by the Manager or its affiliates; such investments are subject to investment risk.

Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees each Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. If a securities lending counterparty were to default, a Fund would be subject to the risk of a possible delay in receiving collateral or in recovering the loaned securities, or to a possible loss of rights in the collateral. In the event a borrower does not return a Fund’s securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated, plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities. This event could trigger adverse tax consequences for a Fund. A Fund could lose money if its short-term investment of the collateral declines in value over the period of the loan. Substitute payments for dividends received by a Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered qualified dividend income. The securities lending agent will take the tax effects on shareholders of this difference into account in connection with the Fund’s securities lending program. Substitute payments received on tax-exempt securities loaned out will not be tax-exempt income.

Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many securities lending agreements, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as a Fund, to terminate such agreements, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government

 

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regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing securities lending agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

Structured Notes. Structured notes and other related instruments purchased by a Fund are generally privately negotiated debt obligations where the principal and/or interest is determined by reference to the performance of a specific asset, benchmark asset, market or interest rate (“reference measure”). Issuers of structured notes include corporations and banks. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may increase or decrease, depending upon changes in the value of the reference measure. The terms of a structured note may provide that, in certain circumstances, no principal is due at maturity and, therefore, may result in a loss of invested capital by a Fund. The interest and/or principal payments that may be made on a structured product may vary widely, depending on a variety of factors, including the volatility of the reference measure.

Structured notes may be positively or negatively indexed, so the appreciation of the reference measure may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or the value of the principal at maturity. The rate of return on structured notes may be determined by applying a multiplier to the performance or differential performance of reference measures. Application of a multiplier involves leverage that will serve to magnify the potential for gain and the risk of loss.

The purchase of structured notes exposes a Fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the structured product. Structured notes may also be more volatile, less liquid, and more difficult to price accurately than less complex securities and instruments or more traditional debt securities. The secondary market for structured notes could be illiquid making them difficult to sell when the Fund determines to sell them. The possible lack of a liquid secondary market for structured notes and the resulting inability of the Fund to sell a structured note could expose the Fund to losses and could make structured notes more difficult for the Fund to value accurately.

Taxable Money Market Securities. Certain Funds may invest in a variety of taxable money market securities (“Taxable Securities”). The Taxable Securities in which certain Funds may invest consist of U.S. Government securities, U.S. Government agency securities, domestic bank certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances, short term corporate debt securities such as commercial paper and repurchase agreements. These investments must have a maturity not in excess of 397 days (13 months) from the date of purchase.

The standards applicable to Taxable Securities in which certain Funds invest are essentially the same as those described above with respect to Municipal Securities. Certain Funds may not invest in any security issued by a depository institution unless such institution is organized and operating in the United States, has total assets of at least $1 billion and is federally insured. Taxable Securities in which the Funds invest will be determined by the Manager to present minimal credit risks to the Fund, and certain Funds may require that portfolio investments (or their issuers) receive minimum credit ratings from one or more NRSROs, or if not rated, are determined by the Manager to be of comparable quality to securities that have received such rating(s).

U.S. Government Obligations. Examples of the types of U.S. Government obligations that may be held by certain Funds include U.S. Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes and Treasury Bonds and the obligations of the Federal Housing Administration, Farmers Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Small Business Administration, the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Financing Bank, General Services Administration, The Co-operative Central Bank, Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), Farm Credit System and Tennessee Valley Authority. Certain Funds may also invest in mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities, including such obligations of Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

To the extent consistent with their respective investment objectives, the Funds may invest in a variety of U.S. Treasury obligations and obligations issued by or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies, instrumentalities or U.S. Government sponsored enterprises. Not all U.S. Government obligations carry the same credit support. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to its agencies, instrumentalities or U.S. Government sponsored enterprises if it were not obligated to do so by law. There is no assurance that these commitments will be undertaken or complied with in the future.

In addition, certain Funds may invest in U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes (FRNs), which are two-year notes issued by the U.S. Treasury. The interest rate of an FRN changes over the life of the FRN and is the sum of an index rate and a spread. The index rate of an FRN is tied to the highest accepted discount rate of the most recent 13-week Treasury bill and is re-set every week. The spread is a rate applied to the index rate. The spread stays the same for the life of an FRN. The spread is determined at the auction where the FRN is first offered. The spread is the highest accepted discount margin in that auction. See also “Variable and Floating Rate Instruments” below.

 

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Variable and Floating Rate Instruments. Certain Funds may purchase variable and floating rate instruments. Variable and floating rate instruments are subject to the credit quality standards described in the prospectuses. A Fund invests in variable or floating rate notes only when the Manager deems the investment to involve minimal credit risk. In some cases, the Funds 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 are satisfied. Although a particular variable or floating rate demand instrument may not be actively traded in a secondary market, in some cases, a 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 a Fund generally may have maturities of more than 13 months provided: (i) they are subject to a demand feature entitling the Fund to the payment of principal and interest within 13 months of exercise, unless the instrument is issued or 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 a Fund’s weighted average 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 a 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 a Fund’s weighted average 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 a 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 a 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 the Fund’s quality and maturity requirements. If an issuer of such a note were to default on its payment obligation, the 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 Securities, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. A Fund may purchase or sell securities that it is entitled to receive on a when issued basis. A Fund may also purchase or sell securities on a delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment (including on a “TBA” (to be announced) basis). These transactions involve the purchase or sale of securities by a Fund at an established price with payment and delivery taking place in the future. The Fund enters into these transactions to obtain what is considered an advantageous price to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. When a Fund purchases securities in these transactions, the Fund segregates liquid assets in an amount equal to the amount of its purchase commitments.

Pursuant to recommendations of the Treasury Market Practices Group, which is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a Fund or its counterparty generally will be required to post collateral when entering into certain forward-settling transactions, including without limitation TBA transactions.

There can be no assurance that a security purchased on a when issued basis will be issued or that a security purchased or sold on a delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment will be delivered. Also, the value of securities in these transactions on the delivery date may be more or less than the price paid by the Fund to purchase the securities. The Fund will lose money if the value of the security in such a transaction declines below the purchase price and will not benefit if the value of the security appreciates above the sale price during the commitment period.

If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, a Fund may dispose of or renegotiate a commitment after it has been entered into, and may sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. In these cases the Fund may realize a taxable capital gain or loss.

When a Fund engages in when-issued, TBA or forward commitment transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the trade. Failure of such party to do so may result in the Fund’s incurring a loss or missing an opportunity to obtain a price considered to be advantageous.

The market value of the securities underlying a commitment to purchase securities, and any subsequent fluctuations in their market value, is taken into account when determining the market value of a Fund starting on the day the Fund agrees to purchase the securities. The Fund does not earn interest on the securities it has committed to purchase until they are paid for and delivered on the settlement date.

Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many agreements with respect to when issued, TBA and

 

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forward commitment transactions, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as a Fund, to terminate such agreements, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing agreements with respect to these transactions or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

Diversification Status

Each Fund’s investments will be limited in order to allow the Fund to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Code. To qualify, among other requirements, each Fund will limit its investments so that at the close of each quarter of the taxable year (i) at least 50% of the market value of each Fund’s total assets is represented by cash, securities of other RICs, U.S. government securities and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the Fund’s assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (ii) not more than 25% of the value of its assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses or in the securities of one or more 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 traditional permitted mutual fund income). See “Dividends and Taxes — Taxes.”

Each Fund has elected to be classified as “diversified” under the Investment Company Act. Each Fund must also satisfy the diversification requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7.

MANAGEMENT AND OTHER SERVICE ARRANGEMENTS

Trustees and Officers

See Part I, Section III “Information on Trustees and Officers — Biographical Information,” “— Share Ownership” and “— Compensation of Trustees” of each Fund’s SAI for biographical and certain other information relating to the Trustees and officers of your Fund, including Trustees’ compensation.

Management Arrangements

Management Services. The Manager provides each Fund with investment advisory and management services. Subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees, the Manager is responsible for the actual management of a Fund’s portfolio and reviews the Fund’s holdings in light of its own research analysis and that from other relevant sources. The responsibility for making decisions to buy, sell or hold a particular security rests with the Manager. The Manager performs certain of the other administrative services and provides all the office space, facilities, equipment and necessary personnel for management of each Fund.

BIF Money invests all or a portion of its assets in shares of the Master LLC. To the extent BIF Money invests all of its assets in the Master LLC, it does not invest directly in portfolio securities and does not require management services. For BIF Money, portfolio management occurs at the Master LLC level.

Management Fee. Each Fund has entered into a management agreement with the Manager pursuant to which the Manager receives for its services to the Fund monthly compensation at an annual rate based on the average daily net assets of the Fund. For information regarding specific fee rates for your Fund and the fees paid by your Fund to the Manager for the Fund’s last three fiscal years or other applicable periods, see Part I, Section IV “Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements” of each Fund’s SAI. Each Management Agreement obligates the Manager to provide investment advisory services and to pay, or cause an affiliate to pay, for maintaining its staff and personnel and to provide office space, facilities and necessary personnel for the Fund. Each Manager is also obligated to pay, or cause an affiliate to pay, the fees of all officers and Trustees of the Fund who are affiliated persons of the Manager or any affiliate.

For Funds that do not have an administration agreement with the Manager, each Management Agreement obligates the Manager to provide management services and to pay all compensation of and furnish office space for officers and employees of a Fund

 

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connected with investment and economic research, trading and investment management of the Fund, as well as the fees of all Trustees of the Fund who are interested persons of the Fund. Each Fund pays all other expenses incurred in the operation of that Fund, including among other things: taxes; expenses for legal and auditing services; costs of preparing, printing and mailing proxies, shareholder reports, prospectuses and statements of additional information, except to the extent paid by BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor” or “BRIL”), charges of the custodian and sub-custodian, and the transfer agent; expenses of redemption of shares; Commission fees; expenses of registering the shares under Federal, state or foreign laws; fees and expenses of Trustees who are not interested persons of a Fund as defined in the Investment Company Act; accounting and pricing costs (including the daily calculations of net asset value); insurance; interest; brokerage costs; litigation and other extraordinary or non-recurring expenses; and other expenses properly payable by the Fund. Certain accounting services are provided to each Fund by State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”), BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (“BNY Mellon”) or JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPM”) pursuant to an agreement between State Street, BNY Mellon or JPM and each Fund. Each Fund pays a fee for these services. In addition, the Manager provides certain accounting services to each Fund and the Fund pays the Manager a fee for such services. The Distributor pays certain promotional expenses of the Funds incurred in connection with the offering of shares of the Funds. Certain expenses are financed by each Fund pursuant to distribution plans in compliance with Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. See “Purchase of Shares — Distribution Plans.”

Organization of the Manager. The Manager, BlackRock Advisors, LLC, is a Delaware limited liability company and an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

Duration and Termination. Unless earlier terminated as described below, each Management Agreement will remain in effect from year to year if approved annually (a) by the Trustees or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund and (b) by a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to such agreement or interested persons (as defined in the Investment Company Act) of any such party. The Management Agreements are not assignable and may be terminated without penalty on 60 days’ written notice at the option of either party thereto or by the vote of the shareholders of the Fund.

Other Service Arrangements

Administrative Services and Administrative Fee. Certain Funds have entered into an administration agreement (the “Administration Agreement”) with an administrator identified in the Fund’s Prospectus and Part I of the Fund’s SAI (each, an “Administrator”). For its services to a Fund, the Administrator receives monthly compensation at the annual rate set forth in each applicable Fund’s Prospectus. For information regarding any administrative fees paid by your Fund to the Administrator for the periods indicated, see Part I, Section IV “Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements” of that Fund’s SAI.

For Funds that have an Administrator, the Administration Agreement obligates the Administrator to provide certain administrative services to the Fund and to pay, or cause its affiliates to pay, for maintaining its staff and personnel and to provide office space, facilities and necessary personnel for the Fund. Each Administrator is also obligated to pay, or cause its affiliates to pay, the fees of those officers and Trustees of the Fund who are affiliated persons of the Administrator or any of its affiliates.

Duration and Termination of Administration Agreement. Unless earlier terminated as described below, each Administration Agreement will continue from year to year if approved annually (a) by the Board of Trustees of each applicable Fund or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of such Fund and (b) by a majority of the Trustees of the Fund who are not parties to such contract or interested persons (as defined in the Investment Company Act) of any such party. Such contract is not assignable and may be terminated without penalty on written notice at the option of either party thereto or by the vote of the shareholders of the Fund.

Transfer Agency Services. Each Fund has entered into an agreement with a transfer agent identified in the Fund’s Prospectus and Part I of the Fund’s SAI, pursuant to which the transfer agent is responsible for the issuance, transfer, and redemption of shares and the opening and maintenance of shareholder accounts. Each Fund pays a fee for these services.

See Part I, Section IV “Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements — Transfer Agency Services” of each Fund’s SAI.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. The Audit Committee of each Fund, the members of which are non-interested Trustees of the Fund, has selected an independent registered public accounting firm for that Fund that audits the Fund’s financial statements. Please see the inside back cover page of your Fund’s Prospectus and Part I, Section IX “Additional Information” of each Fund’s SAI for information on your Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm.

Custodian Services. The name and address of the custodian (the “Custodian”) of each Fund appears on the inside back cover page of the Fund’s Prospectus. The Custodian is responsible for safeguarding and controlling the Fund’s cash and securities,

 

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handling the receipt and delivery of securities and collecting interest and dividends on the Fund’s investments. The Custodian is authorized to establish separate accounts in foreign currencies and to cause foreign securities owned by the Fund to be held in its offices outside the United States and with certain foreign banks and securities depositories.

Accounting Services. Each Fund has entered into an agreement with State Street, BNY Mellon or JPM, pursuant to which State Street, BNY Mellon or JPM provides certain accounting and administrative services to the Fund. Each Fund pays a fee for these services. JPM provides similar accounting services to the Master LLC. The Manager or the Administrator also provides certain accounting services to each Fund and each Fund reimburses the Manager or the Administrator for these services.

See Part I, Section IV “Management, Advisory and Other Service Arrangements — Accounting Services” of each Fund’s SAI for information on the amounts paid by your Fund and, if applicable, Master LLC, to State Street, BNY Mellon or JPM, the Manager and/or the Administrator for the periods indicated.

Distribution Expenses. Each Fund has entered into a distribution agreement with the Distributor in connection with the continuous offering of each class of shares of the Fund (the “Distribution Agreement”). The Distribution Agreement obligates the Distributor to pay certain expenses in connection with the offering of each class of shares of the Funds. After the prospectuses, statements of additional information and periodic reports have been prepared, set in type and mailed to shareholders, the Distributor pays for the printing and distribution of these documents used in connection with the offering to dealers and investors. The Distributor also pays for other supplementary sales literature and advertising costs. The Distribution Agreement is subject to the same renewal requirements and termination provisions as the Management Agreement described above. See Part I, Section V “Distribution Related Expenses” of each Fund’s SAI for information on the fees paid by your Fund for the periods indicated.

Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

The Board of Trustees of each Fund and the Board of Directors of the Manager have each approved Portfolio Information Distribution Guidelines (the “Policy”) regarding the disclosure of each Fund’s portfolio securities, as applicable, and other portfolio information. The purpose of the Policy is to ensure that (i) shareholders and prospective shareholders of the Funds have equal access to portfolio holdings and characteristics and (ii) third parties (such as consultants, intermediaries and third-party data providers) have access to such information no more frequently than shareholders and prospective shareholders.

Pursuant to the Policy, each Fund and the Manager may, under certain circumstances as set forth below, make selective disclosure with respect to a Fund’s Portfolio Characteristics (as defined below) and Portfolio Holdings (as defined below). Each Board of Trustees has approved the adoption by the Fund of the Policy, and employees of the Manager are responsible for adherence to the Policy. The Board of Trustees provides ongoing oversight of the Fund’s and Manager’s compliance with the Policy.

Disclosure of material non-public information (“Confidential Information”) about a Fund’s Portfolio Holdings and/or Portfolio Characteristics is prohibited, except as provided in the Policy.

Confidential Information relating to a Fund may not be distributed to persons not employed by BlackRock unless the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for doing so and appropriate confidentiality obligations are in effect.

 

   

Portfolio Holdings: “Portfolio Holdings” are a Fund’s portfolio securities and other instruments, and include, but are not limited to:

 

   

for equity securities, information such as issuer name, CUSIP, ticker symbol, total shares and market value;

 

   

for fixed income securities, information such as issuer name, CUSIP, ticker symbol, coupon, maturity, current face value and market value;

 

   

for all securities, information such as quantity, SEDOL, market price, yield, WAL, duration and convexity as of a specific date;

 

   

for derivatives, indicative data including, but not limited to, pay leg, receive leg, notional amount, reset frequency and trade counterparty; and

 

   

trading strategies, specific portfolio holdings, including the number of shares held, weightings of particular holdings, trading details, pending or recent transactions and portfolio management plans to purchase or sell particular securities or allocation within particular sectors.

 

   

Portfolio Characteristics: “Portfolio Characteristics” include, but are not limited to, sector allocation, credit quality breakdown, maturity distribution, duration and convexity measures, average credit quality, average maturity, average coupon, top 10 holdings with percent of the fund held, average market capitalization, capitalization range, risk related information (e.g., value at risk, standard deviation), ROE, P/E, P/B, P/CF, P/S and EPS.

 

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Additional characteristics specific to money market funds include, but are not limited to, historical daily and weekly liquid assets (as defined under Rule 2a-7) and historical fund net inflows and outflows.

Information that is non-material or that may be obtained from public sources (i.e., information that has been publicly disclosed via a filing with the Commission (e.g., a fund annual report), through a press release or placement on a publicly-available internet website), or information derived or calculated from such public sources shall not be deemed Confidential Information.

Portfolio Holdings and Portfolio Characteristics may be disclosed in accordance with the below schedule.

Open-End Mutual Funds (Excluding Money Market Funds)

 

     Time Periods (Calendar Days)
     Prior to 5
Calendar Days
After Month-End
  5-20 Calendar
Days After
Month-End
 

20 Calendar Days After
Month-End To Date of

Public Filing

Portfolio
Holdings
  Cannot disclose without non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement and Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) approval.   May disclose to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries, consultants and third-party data providers (e.g., Lipper, Morningstar and Bloomberg), except with respect to Global Allocation funds* (whose holdings may be disclosed 40 calendar days after quarter-end based on the applicable fund’s fiscal year end) and BlackRock Core Bond Portfolio and BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities Portfolio of BlackRock Funds V, BlackRock Strategic Global Bond Fund, Inc., Master Total Return Portfolio of Master Bond LLC, and BlackRock Total Return V.I. Fund of BlackRock Variable Series Funds II, Inc. (each of whose portfolio holdings may be disclosed 60 calendar days after month-end). If Portfolio Holdings are disclosed to one party, they must also be disclosed to all other parties requesting the same information.
Portfolio
Characteristics
  Cannot disclose without non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement and CCO approval*,**   May disclose to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries, consultants and third-party data providers (e.g., Lipper, Morningstar and Bloomberg). If Portfolio Characteristics are disclosed to one party, they must also be disclosed to all other parties requesting the same information.

* Global Allocation: For purposes of portfolio holdings, Global Allocation funds include BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc., BlackRock Global Allocation Portfolio of BlackRock Series Fund, Inc. and BlackRock Global Allocation V.I. Fund of BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc. Information on certain Portfolio Characteristics of BlackRock Global Allocation Portfolio and BlackRock Global Allocation V.I. Fund is available, upon request, to insurance companies that use these funds as underlying investments (and to advisers and sub-advisers of funds invested in BlackRock Global Allocation Portfolio and BlackRock Global Allocation V.I. Fund) in their variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies on a weekly basis (or such other period as may be determined to be appropriate). Disclosure of such characteristics of these two funds constitutes a disclosure of Confidential Information and is being made for reasons deemed appropriate by BlackRock and in accordance with the requirements set forth in these guidelines. If Portfolio Characteristics are disclosed to one party, they must also be disclosed to all other parties requesting the same information.

 

** Strategic Income Opportunities: Information on certain Portfolio Characteristics of BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities Portfolio of BlackRock Funds V may be made available to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries, consultants and third party data providers, upon request on a more frequent basis as may be deemed appropriate by BlackRock from time-to-time.

 

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Money Market Funds

 

     Time Periods (Calendar Days)
     Prior to 5 Calendar Days
After Month-End
  5 Calendar Days After
Month-End to Date of Public Filing
Portfolio
Holdings
 

Cannot disclose without non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement and CCO approval except the following portfolio holdings information may be released as follows:

 

• Weekly portfolio holdings information released on the website at least one business day after week-end.

 

• Other information as may be required under Rule 2a-7 (e.g., name of issuer, category of investment, principal amount, maturity dates, yields).

  May disclose to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries, consultants and third-party data providers. If portfolio holdings are disclosed to one party, they must also be disclosed to all other parties requesting the same information.
Portfolio
Characteristics
 

Cannot disclose without non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement and CCO approval except the following information may be released on the Fund’s website daily:

 

• Historical net asset values per share (“NAVs”) calculated based on market factors (e.g., marked to market)

 

• Percentage of fund assets invested in daily and weekly liquid assets (as defined under Rule 2a-7)

 

• Daily net inflows and outflows

 

• Yields, SEC yields, WAM, WAL, current assets

 

• Other information as may be required by Rule 2a-7

  May disclose to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries, consultants and third-party data providers. If Portfolio Characteristics are disclosed to one party, they must also be disclosed to all other parties requesting the same information.

Guidelines for Confidential and Non-Material Information. Confidential Information may be disclosed to the Fund’s Board of Trustees and its counsel, outside counsel for the Fund, the Fund’s auditors and to certain third-party service providers (i.e., fund administrator, custodian, proxy voting service) for which a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement is in place with such service providers. With respect to Confidential Information, the Fund’s CCO or his or her designee may authorize the following, subject in the case of (ii) and (iii) to a confidentiality or non-disclosure arrangement:

 

  (i)

the preparation and posting of the Fund’s Portfolio Holdings and/or Portfolio Characteristics to its website on a more frequent basis than authorized above;

 

  (ii)

the disclosure of the Fund’s Portfolio Holdings to third-party service providers not noted above; and

 

  (iii)

the disclosure of the Fund’s Portfolio Holdings and/or Portfolio Characteristics to other parties for legitimate business purposes.

Fact Sheets and Reports

 

   

Fund Fact Sheets are available to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries and consultants on a monthly or quarterly basis no earlier than the fifth calendar day after the end of a month or quarter.

 

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Money Market Performance Reports are typically available to shareholders, prospective shareholders, intermediaries and consultants by the tenth calendar day of the month (and on a one day lag for certain institutional funds). They contain monthly money market Fund performance, rolling 12-month average and benchmark performance.

Other Information. The Policy shall also apply to other Confidential Information of a Fund such as performance attribution analyses or security-specific information (e.g., information about Fund holdings where an issuer has been downgraded, been acquired or declared bankruptcy).

Data on NAVs, asset levels (by total Fund and share class), accruals, yields, capital gains, dividends and fund returns (net of fees by share class) are generally available to shareholders, prospective shareholders, consultants, and third-party data providers upon request, as soon as such data is available.

Contact Information. For information about portfolio holdings and characteristics, BlackRock fund shareholders and prospective investors should call the number set out on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Compensation. Neither a Fund, a service provider nor any of their affiliated persons (as that term is defined in the Investment Company Act) shall receive compensation in any form in connection with the disclosure of information about such Fund’s Portfolio Holdings or Portfolio Characteristics.

Ongoing Arrangements. The Manager has entered into ongoing agreements to provide selective disclosure of Fund Portfolio Holdings to the following persons or entities:

 

  1.

Fund’s Board of Trustees and, if necessary, Independent Trustees’ counsel and Fund counsel.

 

  2.

Fund’s transfer agent.

 

  3.

Fund’s Custodian.

 

  4.

Fund’s Administrator, if applicable.

 

  5.

Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm.

 

  6.

Fund’s accounting services provider.

 

  7.

Independent rating agencies — Morningstar, Inc., Lipper Inc., S&P, Moody’s, Fitch.

 

  8.

Information aggregators — Markit on Demand, Thomson Financial and Bloomberg, eVestments Alliance, Informa/PSN Investment Solutions, Crane Data and iMoneyNet.

 

  9.

Sponsors of 401(k) plans that include BlackRock-advised funds — E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company, Inc.

 

  10.

Sponsors and consultants for pension and retirement plans that invest in BlackRock-advised funds — Rocaton Investment Advisors, LLC, Mercer Investment Consulting, Callan Associates, Brockhouse & Cooper, Cambridge Associates, Morningstar/Investorforce, Russell Investments (Mellon Analytical Solutions), Wilshire Associates and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

 

  11.

Pricing Vendors — Reuters Pricing Service, Bloomberg, FT Interactive Data (FT IDC), ITG, Telekurs Financial, FactSet Research Systems, Inc., JP Morgan Pricing Direct (formerly Bear Stearns Pricing Service), Standard and Poor’s Security Evaluations Service, Lehman Index Pricing, Bank of America High Yield Index, Loan Pricing Corporation (LPC), LoanX, Super Derivatives, IBoxx Index, Barclays Euro Gov’t Inflation-Linked Bond Index, JPMorgan Emerging & Developed Market Index, Reuters/WM Company, Nomura BPI Index, Japan Securities Dealers Association, Valuation Research Corporation and Murray, Devine & Co., Inc.

 

  12.

Portfolio Compliance Consultants — Oracle/i-Flex Solutions, Inc.

 

  13.

Third-party feeder funds — Alight Money Market Fund, Alight Series Trust, Alight Financial Solutions LLC, Homestead, Inc., Transamerica, State Farm Mutual Fund and Sterling Capital Funds and their respective boards, sponsors, administrators and other service providers.

 

  14.

Affiliated feeder funds — Treasury Money Market Fund (Cayman) and its board, sponsor, administrator and other service providers.

 

 

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  15.

Other — Investment Company Institute, Mizuho Asset Management Co., Ltd., Nationwide Fund Advisors and State Street Bank and Trust Company.

With respect to each such arrangement, a Fund has a legitimate business purpose for the release of information. The release of the information is subject to confidential treatment to prohibit the entity from sharing with an unauthorized source or trading upon the information provided. The Funds, BlackRock and their affiliates do not receive any compensation or other consideration in connection with such arrangements.

The Funds and the Manager monitor, to the extent possible, the use of Confidential Information by the individuals or firms to which it has been disclosed. To do so, in addition to the requirements of any applicable confidentiality agreement and/or the terms and conditions of the Fund’s and Manager’s Codes of Ethics — all of which require persons or entities in possession of Confidential Information to keep such information confidential and not to trade on such information for their own benefit — the Manager’s compliance personnel under the supervision of the Fund’s CCO, monitor the Manager’s securities trading desks to determine whether individuals or firms who have received Confidential Information have made any trades on the basis of that information. In addition, the Manager maintains an internal restricted list to prevent trading by the personnel of the Manager or its affiliates in securities — including securities held by a Fund — about which the Manager has Confidential Information. There can be no assurance, however, that the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the selective disclosure of Portfolio Holdings will prevent the misuse of such information by individuals or firms that receive such information.

Potential Conflicts of Interest

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”), through a subsidiary, has a significant economic interest in BlackRock, Inc., the parent of BlackRock Advisors, LLC, the Funds’ investment adviser. Certain activities of BlackRock, Inc., BlackRock Advisors, LLC and the other subsidiaries of BlackRock, Inc. (collectively referred to in this section as “BlackRock”) and PNC and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to in this section as the “Entities”), and their respective directors, officers or employees, with respect to the Funds and/or other accounts managed by BlackRock or Entities, 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, PNC and their respective subsidiaries and each of their respective directors, officers and employees, including, in the case of BlackRock, the business units or entities and personnel who may be involved in the investment activities and business operations of a Fund, are engaged worldwide in businesses, including managing equities, fixed income securities, cash and alternative investments, and banking and other financial services, and have interests other than that of managing the Funds. These are considerations of which investors in a Fund should be aware, and which may cause conflicts of interest that could disadvantage a Fund and its shareholders. These businesses and interests include potential multiple advisory, transactional, financial and other relationships with, or interests in companies and interests in securities or other instruments that may be purchased or sold by a Fund.

BlackRock and the Entities have proprietary interests in, and 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 a Fund and/or that engage in transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and instruments as the Fund. BlackRock and the Entities are also major participants in the global currency, equities, swap and fixed income markets, in each case, for the accounts of clients and, in some cases, on a proprietary basis. As such, BlackRock and the Entities are or may be actively engaged in transactions in the same securities, currencies, and instruments in which a Fund invests. Such activities could affect the prices and availability of the securities, currencies, and instruments in which a Fund invests, which could have an adverse impact on a Fund’s performance. Such transactions, particularly in respect of most proprietary accounts or client accounts, will be executed independently of a Fund’s transactions and thus at prices or rates that may be more or less favorable than those obtained by the Fund.

When BlackRock seeks to purchase or sell the same assets for managed accounts, including a Fund, the assets actually purchased or sold may be allocated among the accounts on a basis determined in its good faith discretion to be equitable. In some cases, this system may adversely affect the size or price of the assets purchased or sold for a Fund. In addition, transactions in investments by one or more other accounts managed by BlackRock (or Entities) may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of a Fund, particularly, but not limited to, with respect to small capitalization, emerging market or less liquid strategies. This may occur with respect to BlackRock-advised accounts when investment decisions regarding a Fund are based on research or other information that is also used to support decisions for other accounts. When BlackRock

 

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implements a portfolio decision or strategy on behalf of another account ahead of, or contemporaneously with, similar decisions or strategies for a 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 may, in certain cases, elect to implement internal policies and procedures designed to limit such consequences, which may cause a 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 a Fund may benefit other accounts managed by BlackRock. For example, the sale of a long position or establishment of a short position by a Fund may impair the price of the same security sold short by (and therefore benefit) BlackRock or its other accounts or funds, and the purchase of a security or covering of a short position in a security by a Fund may increase the price of the same security held by (and therefore benefit) BlackRock or its other accounts or funds. In addition, to the extent permitted by applicable law, certain Funds may invest their assets in other funds advised by BlackRock, including funds that are managed by one or more of the same portfolio managers, which could result in conflicts of interest relating to asset allocation, timing of Fund purchases and redemptions, and increased remuneration and profitability for BlackRock and/or its personnel, including portfolio managers.

In certain circumstances, BlackRock, on behalf of the Funds, may seek to buy from or sell securities to another fund or account advised by BlackRock. BlackRock may (but is not required to) effect purchases and sales between BlackRock clients (“cross trades”), including the Funds, if BlackRock 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 BlackRock’s decision to engage in these transactions for the Funds. BlackRock may have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in such transactions.

BlackRock and the Entities and their respective clients may pursue or enforce rights with respect to an issuer in which a 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 the Entities or their respective 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 a Fund’s investment activities may differ significantly from the results achieved by BlackRock for its proprietary accounts or other accounts (including investment companies or collective investment vehicles) which it manages or advises. It is possible that one or more accounts managed or advised by BlackRock and such other accounts will achieve investment results that are substantially more or less favorable than the results achieved by a Fund. Moreover, it is possible that a Fund will sustain losses during periods in which one or more proprietary or other accounts managed or advised by BlackRock achieve significant profits. The opposite result is also possible.

From time to time, a Fund may be restricted from purchasing or selling securities, or from engaging in other investment activities because of regulatory, legal or contractual requirements applicable to BlackRock or one or more Entities or other accounts managed or advised by BlackRock or an Entity for clients worldwide, and/or the internal policies of BlackRock and the Entities designed to comply with such requirements. As a result, there may be periods, for example, when BlackRock will not initiate or recommend certain types of transactions in certain securities or instruments with respect to which BlackRock and/or one or more Entities are performing services or when position limits have been reached. For example, the investment activities of BlackRock for its proprietary accounts and accounts under its management may limit the investment opportunities for a 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.

In connection with its management of a Fund, BlackRock may have access to certain fundamental analysis and proprietary technical models developed by BlackRock. BlackRock will not be under any obligation, however, to effect transactions on behalf of a Fund in accordance with such analysis and models. In addition, BlackRock will not 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 a 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, or the activities or strategies used for accounts managed by BlackRock or other client accounts could conflict with the transactions and strategies employed by BlackRock in managing a Fund.

The Funds may be included in investment models developed by BlackRock for use by clients and financial advisors. To the extent clients invest in these investment models and increase the assets under management of the Funds, the investment management fee

 

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amounts paid by the Funds to BlackRock may also increase. The liquidity of a Fund may be impacted by redemptions of the Fund by model-driven investment portfolios.

In addition, certain principals and certain employees of a Fund’s investment adviser are also principals or employees of other business units or entities within BlackRock. As a result, these principals and employees may have obligations to such other business units or entities or their clients and such obligations to other business units or entities or their clients may be a consideration of which investors in a Fund should be aware.

BlackRock may enter into transactions and invest in securities, instruments and currencies on behalf of a Fund in which clients of BlackRock or an Entity, or, to the extent permitted by the Commission and applicable law, BlackRock or an Entity, 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 a Fund may enhance the profitability of BlackRock or an Entity.

BlackRock or one or more Entities may also create, write or issue derivatives for their clients, the underlying securities, currencies or instruments of which may be those in which a Fund invests or which may be based on the performance of the Fund. BlackRock has entered into an arrangement with Markit Indices Limited, the index provider for underlying fixed-income indexes used by certain iShares ETFs, related to derivative fixed-income products that are based on such iShares ETFs. BlackRock will receive certain payments for licensing intellectual property belonging to BlackRock and for facilitating provision of data in connection with such derivative products, which may include payments based on the trading volumes of, or revenues generated by, the derivative products. The Funds and other accounts managed by BlackRock may from time to time transact in such derivative products where permitted by the Funds’ investment strategy, which could contribute to the viability of such derivative products by making them more appealing to funds and accounts managed by third parties, and in turn lead to increased payments to BlackRock. Trading activity in these derivative products could also potentially lead to greater liquidity for such products, increased purchase activity with respect to these iSha