BlackRock to offer infrastructure funds via independent advisers

September 29, 2016 7:13 AM EDT

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. B REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

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By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK), the world's largest asset manager, will offer infrastructure funds for the first time through independent financial advisers, it said on Thursday.

Private infrastructure funds invest in massive projects like renewable energy or gas pipelines, and split up the proceeds among a group of investors. These funds usually require large minimum investments that are beyond the means of most individual buyers.

BlackRock will offer the funds through Artivest, a startup investment platform used by registered investment advisers to access hedge funds, infrastructure funds and other alternative investments. Through Artivest, qualified individuals can commit smaller minimum amounts than required by many large financial institutions.

Individuals will need to invest at least $250,000 in a fund on the platform.

Institutions such as pension funds and insurance funds buy such alternatives to balance out portfolios heavily weighted with stocks and bonds. But many of the alternatives require investors to commit their cash for longer periods of time.

In July, BlackRock reported having $8 billion in total capital for infrastructure projects.

Artivest's backers include KKR & Co (NYSE: KKR), RRE Ventures, Peter Thiel, Nyca Partners, Anthemis Group and FinTech Collective.

(Editing by Richard Chang and Matthew Lewis)

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