Aperio’s DEI Journey: Putting Cash to Work with Impact

Aperio’s DEI Journey
October 27, 2020

In June, we posted our “Statement on Racism” and said that we were developing plans on what Aperio could do to help move toward racial justice. Through these blogs, we’re sharing our journey—what we are learning and how we are holding ourselves accountable.

Our plans involve three components: our people, our vendors, and the assets we steward on behalf of our clients. Over the past summer, we looked at our company’s cash management and explored options for deploying it with greater impact.

As interest rates at money market mutual funds have dropped to near zero and banks are now paying a slightly higher rate, we searched for a good alternative for excess cash to our previous money market fund. A few additional considerations defined this search: Firstly, given our focus on risk by switching to banks or credit unions, we had to keep our deposits to the $250K Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) limit at any one institution. Secondly, we needed to find a depositary institution with one-day access to cash that would be low hassle. Furthermore, we wanted to find a vendor with social impact.

Brad Harrison, the Managing Director of Tiedemann Advisors, with whom we have worked closely, introduced us to an interesting solution: FICA® Impact, an account offered by StoneCastle Cash Management. FICA Impact, a liquid FDIC-insured cash deposit account, disperses cash to community banks. Working with more than 700 institutions across the United States, StoneCastle provides these banks with cash deposits that they can then use to make loans to local enterprises.

Aperio partnered with StoneCastle President Eric Lansky to deploy our working capital to smaller banks across the country. We see this choice as an optimal opportunity that balanced effectively all of our needs regarding interest rate, risk, hassle, and social impact.

Aperio has also made FICA Impact available to our employees, if they wish to take advantage of this type of account for their personal finances.

In all areas of our business, we are learning to pause and ask: is there an option that is better for all? The answer to that question translates to whom we hire, where we do business, and how we steward assets. We are happy to share further details of our thinking around this decision.

 

Aperio is not endorsing the use of StoneCastle as necessarily appropriate for its clients as client cash needs may differ and each investment decision for a client must be considered individually.

Instead, the firm is illustrating the choices we are making for our own cash management needs that we believe are consistent with our values.

Send questions or comments to blog@aperiogroup.com.

© 2021 BlackRock, Inc. All rights reserved.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The opinions expressed are subject to change at any time without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be and should not be interpreted as recommendations.

This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature. Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of yields or returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Moreover, any historical performance information of other investment vehicles or composite accounts managed by BlackRock, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries (together, “BlackRock”) included in this material is presented by way of example only. No representation is made that any performance presented will be achieved, or that every assumption made in achieving, calculating or presenting either the forward-looking information or the historical performance information herein has been considered or stated in preparing this material. Any changes to assumptions that may have been made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the investment returns that are presented herein by way of example. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The information and opinions contained in this material are derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources deemed by BlackRock to be reliable, are not necessarily all-inclusive and are not guaranteed as to accuracy.

MKTGH1021U/S-1875748