BlackRock Plans Commodity Exchange-Traded Products With a Twist

(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. plans to add factor-based commodity exchange-traded products to its lineup, extending the firm’s focus on the data-driven investing style.

The world’s largest asset manager will initially add two broad commodity ETPs, according to a release Friday. It will label these products “exchange-traded commodities.”

The firm has been putting more energy into factors after hiring Columbia finance professor Andrew Ang in 2015. Its factor-based investing platform, which Ang leads, manages more than $200 billion globally in active and index products. Factor investing zeroes in on traits that affect stock or bond prices, with categories like value, growth and momentum.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley will serve as index providers for the commodities strategies, along with a third-party calculation agent, BlackRock said.

BlackRock is the world’s largest issuer of exchange-traded funds with $1.8 trillion in assets in its iShares ETFs, accounting for nearly one-third of the New York-based firm’s total assets under management.

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