BlackRock's Kushel to Run Multi-Asset Team in Reorganization

  • BlackRock names Tim Webb global head of fixed income
  • Firm to combine its active equity units in one group

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money-manager, named Rich Kushel to head multi-asset strategies and Tim Webb to oversee global fixed income in its third reorganization since 2012.

Ken Kroner, who led both the multi-asset strategies and scientific active equity business, will retire later this year, according to a memo provided by the firm. Philipp Hildebrand, currently chairman of multi-asset strategies, will lead the BlackRock Investment Institute. BlackRock will also combine its fundamental and scientific active equity groups, and set up a new real assets group.

Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, 63, and President Robert Kapito, 57, have previously promoted younger executives to senior roles after a number of the firm’s co-founders left or retired from active positions. In 2012 the firm added eight members to its global executive committee and made changes to its investment unit to improve returns. Two years later, BlackRock expanded its senior management by giving at least 10 senior executives new roles.

"We have regularly moved senior leaders into new roles, as we did in 2012 and 2014, with very positive benefits for them, the firm and our clients," according to the memo.

Kushel, currently chief product officer and head of strategic product management, and Webb, who is currently head of international fixed income, will both report to Kapito in their new roles. Rick Rieder, currently chief investment officer of fundamental fixed income, will become CIO of global fixed income. The changes are effective Feb. 1.

Richie Prager, who heads global trading, is taking on an expanded role of heading a new trading, liquidity and investments platform team that combines all of those functions under one umbrella.

BlackRock’s Earnings

The combined fundamental and scientific active equity teams will be managed by Chris Jones, Nigel Bolton, Raffaele Savi and Jeff Shen. BlackRock’s new real assets group brings together the infrastructure and real estate units. The group will be headed by Jim Barry, who will also continue his role as global head of the infrastructure group.

BlackRock expanded from a bond shop started in a one-room office to a $4.5 trillion global money manager with much of the growth fueled by acquisitions, including the 2009 purchase of Barclays Plc’s investment unit. Susan Wagner, a co-founder who helped lead the acquisition push, retired in 2012 when the firm reached a size that made significant deals difficult. Ralph Schlosstein and Keith Anderson are among other co-founders that are no longer with the firm.

Patrick Dunne, who is head of the San Francisco office, is leaving after 24 years with the firm. Dunne and Kroner worked at Barclays Global Investors before BlackRock acquired it. Kevin Holt, who has co-led the firm’s Americas fixed income division, will become head of the San Francisco and Seattle offices.

BlackRock will report earnings on Friday. Net income is expected to decline by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter from $813 million the year prior, according to estimates from ten analysts. BlackRock has improved the performance of its actively managed funds, helping attracted $35 billion in long-term net inflows in the third quarter of 2015.

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