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BlackRock to re-focus North American income trust

BlackRock to re-focus North American income trust

BlackRock is to re-focus its North American income trust on sustainable investing.

The investment manager announced yesterday (June 30) that it will ensure the trust is managed “in a way which is compatible with principles of sustainable investment”. 

It added the board believes in evolving the trust’s mandate and investing in companies that show a commitment “to achieving sustainable business models will deliver improved performance over the longer-term”.

The trust will also begin to focus more on mid-cap companies, a change from its current objective of focussing solely on large-cap firms. 

A further change includes pivoting the trust’s exposure, giving the fund’s managers the option to invest up to 25 per cent outside of North America.

Finally, the trust will reduce the number of holdings from between 80 and 120 to between 30 and 60.

The statement said: “This will allow the managers to focus on their most high conviction ideas, with greater position sizes allowing individual performance to contribute more to overall performance.”

Simon Miller, chairman at BlackRock, said: “As the company approaches its 10th anniversary since launch, the board is mindful that it continues to deliver attractive returns for shareholders. 

“The proposed changes to the company’s investment objective and policy have followed in-depth consultations with shareholders, and reflect the board’s strong belief that evolving the mandate and investing in companies which show a commitment to achieving sustainable business models will lead to outperformance for investors.

"The board would like to thank shareholders for their continued support.”

To reflect these changes, the trust will be renamed the BlackRock Sustainable American Income Trust, and shareholders will vote on these changes at the general meeting on July 29.

sally.hickey@ft.com