BlackRock Hires Goldman Veteran to Lead Debt ETF Push in U.S.

  • Heather Brownlie started at the money manager on Monday
  • Derivatives expert Jim Hill joins firm to advise ETF business
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded funds, has tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Heather Brownlie as U.S. head of fixed-income ETFs, a new role at the money manager.

Brownlie will oversee product creation, sales and capital markets in BlackRock’s debt ETF business as the company looks to accelerate the growth of these funds, according to Melissa Garville, a spokeswoman for New York-based BlackRock. Brownlie, who started Monday, was previously the global head of fixed-income for private wealth management in Goldman Sachs’s investment management division.

More than $60 billion has flowed into U.S. debt ETFs this year, boosting assets to more than $520 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Retail and institutional investors are increasingly adopting these products as a cheaper, more liquid way to get exposure to the bond market. The funds can also be used in place of swaps and futures, or as an aid in transitioning portfolios from one asset class to another.

BlackRock also appointed derivatives expert Jim Hill as an adviser to its ETF business, Garville said. Hill, who’s worked at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG, also started Monday. He’ll support BlackRock’s attempt to increase the use of fixed-income ETFs by institutions, mostly working with the ETF capital markets and distribution teams.

BlackRock has more than 80 debt-focused ETFs in the U.S. with a combined $263 billion in assets; the funds have absorbed about $30 billion since Dec. 31, Bloomberg data show.

— With assistance by Shannon D Harrington

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