BlackRock Buys 25% Stake in Ex-Treasury Aide’s Bank Venture
BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, acquired a 25 percent stake in a community banking cooperative started by Lee Sachs, a former aide to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Alliance Partners, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, has assembled a cooperative network of banks called BancAlliance, the company said in a statement. BancAlliance seeks to provide its members with more lending opportunities to reduce their reliance on real estate loans and assets.
“We see the BancAlliance program as a constructive opportunity for community banks across the country to diversify their asset portfolios,” Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.
Sachs last month started Alliance Partners, aimed at helping smaller regional banks lend to a wider base of borrowers. Lenders that join BancAlliance’s network will be able to elect the partnership’s board of directors.
BlackRock, based in New York, manages $3.56 trillion in mutual funds, institutional accounts and exchange-traded funds. The firm in December 2009 acquired Barclays Global Investors to more than double assets under management and add passive index funds to its line-up of actively managed funds.
In 2008, BlackRock and Highfields Capital Management LP backed former Countrywide Financial Corp. president Stanford Kurland to form Private National Mortgage Acceptance Company LLC. The firm, dubbed PennyMac, seeks to buy delinquent residential mortgages.
BlackRock may partner with BancAlliance to bring other new products to community banks and smaller lenders, Matthew Botein, head of BlackRock’s alternative investments and the firm’s special-situations unit, said in a telephone interview today.
“We helped to create PennyMac during the height of the mortgage crisis,” Botein said. “The BancAlliance partnership is an opportunity to bring innovation and fiduciary principles to an important set of members in the financial system, the community banks,” Botein said.
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