BlackRock Seeks Money Fund Compromise Amid FSOC Threat

By Christopher Condon and Robert Schmidt

Investment managers including BlackRock Inc. (BLK), under pressure to pre-empt action by a new super-committee of regulators, are seeking to end an impasse over money-fund reform, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Officials from several firms, as well as representatives from the Investment Company Institute, the industry’s trade group, are scheduled to meet with the Securities and Exchange Commission today to discuss proposals for a potential compromise, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The industry helped block a plan in August that was backed by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro. The firms are pushing for an agreement amid the threat of action from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, or FSOC, a multi-agency panel of senior regulators formed by the Dodd- Frank Act. FSOC’s most powerful figures, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, have said money funds are a systemic threat to global financial markets. The body could intervene and submit money funds to direct regulation by the Fed. “BlackRock has tried before” to find a resolution that regulators and fund providers can agree on, Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based research firm Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said in an interview. “Maybe now with FSOC breathing down everyone’s neck it will work.”