BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), 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 pipeline projects, 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, individuals can commit smaller minimum amounts than required by many large financial institutions.
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.