BlackRock nabs Canada pension chief Wiseman for senior role

Thu May 19, 2016 2:47pm EDT
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By Matt Scuffham and Trevor Hunnicutt

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, has recruited the head of Canada's biggest public pension fund to become the top executive overseeing its stock-picking operations.

Wiseman, 45, who has transformed the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) into one of the world's most active dealmakers over the past four years, will step down next month and become head of BlackRock's global active equity business in September. Wiseman will be replaced by Mark Machin, the head of CPPIB's international operations.

Wiseman will become a member of BlackRock's Global Executive Committee, an exclusive club of fewer than two-dozen senior deputies to BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink and President Rob Kapito.

He will be one of a much smaller subset of those people with oversight over investing teams, taking over a group within the executive committee focused on investments, according to a statement.

He will also oversee some 350 portfolio managers and other staff responsible for $275 billion in investments. New York-based BlackRock managed $4.7 trillion on March 31.

Fink has been working with Wiseman on a group called Focusing Capital on the Long Term, which has advocated that institutions invest more of their money with companies whose executives show a dedication to long-term success, rather than appeasing markets every quarter.

Wiseman joins the company during an unsettled period for active money managers. Markets and a trend toward low-cost passive investing have conspired to make the business of managing and selling actively managed stock funds a zero-sum game. BlackRock's relative investment performance slipped last quarter, according to its own metrics.

In a bid to boost its performance, BlackRock has scoured the industry for top managers and invested in technology, as well as what it calls a "scientific" active equity business that mines reams of data for insight on which stocks to pick.   Continued...

A taxi passes a BlackRock building in New York, United States, June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo