BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited

BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited

May 26, 2011 14:43 ET

BlackRock's LifePath® Portfolios Achieves Over $2 Billion in Assets Under Management

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 26, 2011) - BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) today announced its defined contribution (DC) target-date offering, the LifePath Portfolios have crossed $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). With currently $2.37 billion in assets under Management (AUM), the LifePath Portfolios have grown by 84% since the beginning of 2010.

Target date funds are increasingly gaining popularity with plan sponsors and participants alike. In a recent study conducted by BlackRock Canada's affiliate in the US, eight in ten participants find the idea of target date funds appealing, with 67% stating they would react positively if their employer moved their assets into a target date fund. In fact, in the US, in 2009 11% of assets within DC plans were currently held in target date funds, with expected share to reach 40% by 2015 (source, McKinsey). In Canada, approximately 50% of DC plans expect to change their investment options or structure over the next two years. Of those planning changes, 29.6% of the plans surveyed will introduce lifestyle or target date funds (source: Mercer 2009).

"We're proud to have achieved this significant milestone, which validates the trend we are seeing today: plan sponsors are turning to target date funds in response to requests from plan members for an quick and easy solution to retirement planning," said Bill Chinery, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, BlackRock Canada. "As plan sponsors seek alternatives to defined benefit plans, LifePath meets their increasing appetite for well diversified, transparency and robust investment solutions."

Each LifePath Portfolio is an index-based, broadly diversified fund that is designed for both an appropriate risk tolerance and a target date for when money will be needed. As time passes, BlackRock Canada gradually shifts the investment mix from a greater concentration of higher-risk investments to a greater concentration of lower-risk investments to coincide with an employee's retirement date. The investment mix is designed to change and adapt to each stage of the participant's life.

LifePath Portfolios are the most widely used target date fund offering in Canada. Available through all the major recordkeeping platforms, LifePath Portfolios are unique in Canada due to their full index approach that seeks to maximize diversification across a very broad spectrum of asset classes offered to Canadian pension plan participants. Participants often lack the time, expertise or desire to manage their retirement savings effectively. LifePath Portfolios address this gap by providing a well-diversified asset mix, automatic rebalancing and experienced investment management based on defined time horizons.

"LifePath Portfolios are an adaptable, 'all-in-one' solution effective for any participant," said Chinery. "In these uncertain times, LifePath Portfolios help plan participants achieve a sound, diversified investment strategy to meet their long-term savings goals."

About BlackRock®

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2011, BlackRock's AUM was US $3.648 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 its BlackRock Solutions business. Headquartered in New York City, as of March 31, 2011, the firm has approximately 9,300 employees in 26 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 www.blackrock.com.

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