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Video 2:55

Our dedicated team of more than 150 ETF-focused investment professionals has helped pensions, endowments, foundations and asset managers build custom solutions seeking to deliver more efficient and effective portfolios.

Del Stafford, CFA
Head of Americas iShares Portfolio Consulting

Welcome to iShares by BlackRock. I’m Del Stafford, and I lead the iShares Portfolio Consulting team for the Americas. Our team works with an array of institutional investors –pensions, endowments, foundations, asset managers, and insurers – helping to address some of their most complex and vexing portfolio challenges.

The challenges we address can vary widely, driven by the market environment, shifting investment objectives, or the need to adopt new investment and risk considerations based on ever evolving priorities and available investment opportunities. This confluence of factors reflects the current conversations we are having today, which can be broadly segmented into three main categorizes.

First, and perhaps most common, is liquidity management. Historically low yields combined with spates of rising volatility in risk assets has forced more investors to prioritize and opportunistically manage liquidity needs alongside long-term portfolio objectives. We find Asset owners and asset managers holding from two to 16% of their portfolios in cash. To avoid a potential cash drag in performance, we help determine the optimal suite of ETFs to a create liquidity tier. This helps reduce cash levels while aligning liquid holdings with a policy benchmark, desired asset allocation or be used to express a view in a rapidly changing environment.

The second common conversation we typically have is one I would describe as adapting to the current market environment on a short-or medium-term time frame. Right now, as I record this video in June of 2021, the possibility of higher inflation is top of mind for many clients. They are coming to us to analyze how susceptible their portfolios may be to rising inflation and what are the most effective ways to mitigate its impact with ETFs.

Finally, under the category of new investment and risk considerations, we are increasingly seeing clients incorporate a sustainable lens into the portfolio construction process. The first step is often analyzing an existing portfolio to establish a sustainable profile, which are critical to facilitating stakeholder conversations and early decision making. We can then help create an ESG liquidity tier using sustainable-focused ETFs that helps with the transition to a more sustainable portfolio or guide clients through more immediate and significant portfolio changes to align with their long-term sustainable goals.

These types of conversations are not mutually exclusive. Many times, we begin to focus on one challenge and through these conversation other priorities are uncovered.

I hope this gives you a sense of how our dedicated iShares team of investment professionals helps hundreds of asset owner and asset managers annually who are aiming to build more efficient and effective portfolios.

To engage with us, complete the form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly.

Thank you for your partnership. Your trust and confidence are our most valuable assets as we continue to develop and support a robust ETF ecosystem.


The iShares Portfolio Consulting team leverages Aladdin® to evaluate sources of risk and demonstrate how portfolios, benchmarks, or models might react to various scenarios. Request a custom portfolio analysis by completing the form below.


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