BlackRock Celebrates iShares Suite of 45 ETFs for Insurers

David Lomas, Head of BlackRock's Global Financial Institutions Group to Ring The Opening BellSM at the New York Stock Exchange

On Tuesday, February 5th, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK), will visit the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to celebrate iShares’ suite of 45 Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) that carry an official designation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for insurers.

As the standard-setter and regulatory support organization, created and governed by U.S. chief insurance regulators, the NAIC rating permits insurers to apply lower capital charge ratios for a majority of fixed income iShares ETFs by looking through to the underlying holdings which are baskets of fixed income securities. The ratings are corresponding to the underlying holdings disclosed on a daily basis.

In honor of the occasion, David Lomas, Head of BlackRock's Global Financial Institutions Group within BlackRock’s Institutional business will ring the NYSE Opening Bell joined by executives and guests of BlackRock.

David Lomas commented:  “Insurers continue to face historically low interest rates and limited fixed income supply, challenging their income prospects and stressing their business models.  The liquidity that ETFs offer will help insurers face these challenges to gain quick and efficient access to the credit markets.”

Raman Suri, Head of iShares New Markets Distribution commented: “A recent iShares survey noted a nearly 70% adoption rate of insurers using ETFs for passive exposure. As such, iShares’ industry-leading 45 NAIC designations are significant for helping insurers overcome regulatory hurdles and manage their risk-based capital requirements.”

About BlackRock (NYSE: BLK):

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide.  At December 31, 2012, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.792 trillion.  BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients’ needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®.  Headquartered in New York City, as of December 31, 2012, the firm has approximately 10,500 employees in 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa.  For additional information, please visit the Company's website at

About iShares:

iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 600 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.