BlackRock reshuffles senior leadership of investment teams: memo

Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:04pm EST
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By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc on Tuesday informed staff that it was reshuffling the managers of some of its most important investment units, including its stock and bond-picking businesses, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The world's largest asset manager said it would unify its global fixed-income business under Tim Webb, a longtime manager at the firm, and Rick Rieder, a well-known investor who is becoming chief investment officer of global fixed income.

New York-based BlackRock is also moving a senior executive, Rich Kushel, into a position as head of multi-asset strategies, which includes products that straddle investment styles, such as what the company calls "impact" investing.

BlackRock is also combining its two stock picking business, including a more traditional "fundamental" team and a "scientific" team that specializes in sophisticated data analysis, into one unit reporting directly to BlackRock President Rob Kapito, according to the memo, which was signed by Kapito and BlackRock Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink.

Ken Kroner, who had overseen multi-asset strategies and the "scientific active equity" group, plans to retire this year after serving as an adviser through the year, according to the memo.

BlackRock declined to comment.

Under Kroner, the company had been working to mine data and employ other quantitative methods to improve investment performance not just in the scientific unit but within the rest of the firm's equity business, where performance had struggled, as well as in bonds.

The company has replaced teams within its fundamental stock business and said last year that the unit's previous overseer, Quintin Price, would leave the firm.   Continued...

A woman walks next to a BlackRock sign pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York, October 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz