Effective March 23, 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to purchase agency commercial mortgage-backed securities (agency CMBS) on behalf of the System Open Market Account (SOMA). The Desk purchased in the open market agency CMBS secured primarily by multifamily home mortgages that are guaranteed fully as to principal and interest by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae and that the Desk had determined were suitable for purchase. Effective November 4, 2021, the Desk is no longer directed to purchase agency CMBS to sustain smooth functioning.
On March 24, 2020, the New York Fed retained BlackRock Financial Markets Advisory as a third-party vendor to operationalize these purchases and transact with approved counterparties on behalf of the SOMA. BlackRock was selected on a short-term basis to serve as an investment manager after considering their expertise in trading and analyzing agency CMBS in the secondary market, and robust operational and technological capabilities. On May 2, 2022, the investment management contract with Blackrock was terminated. A copy of that agreement is available on the vendor information webpage.