Skip to content
Subscriber Only

She Is BlackRock’s New Star After Sealing Argentina’s Debt Deal

  • Jennifer O’Neil sought common ground with economy minister
  • With little time in region, she brought outsider perspective

She’s spent little time in Latin America and her Spanish, by her own account, is just “mas o menos.” She’d never coaxed a deal out of proud, broke governments. Yet in a single week, Jennifer O’Neil, 39, helped seal the debt restructuring of Argentina and Ecuador, propelling her into prominence at BlackRock Inc. and in the clubby, male-dominated world of sovereign bond negotiations.

Her role was particularly noteworthy in Argentina, which had defaulted on $65 billion held by dozens of investment firms, including BlackRock, where she’s a managing director. It was the country’s ninth default and, in the midst of the pandemic, the Peronist-led government wasn’t sending signals of flexibility.