BlackRock makes major organisational changes

Chess boardBlackRock is combining its active equities strategies as part of far reaching changes to its global investments platform.

The aim is to build more connectivity across regions, asset classes and strategies, and other plans include investing more in its multi-assets business and creating a real assets group.

The firm says higher volatility, lower beta and increased dispersion, means clients are looking more for active equity solutions irrespective of whether they are fundamental or quantitative strategies.

In July BlackRock said it saw a number of large clients switch more money into active investments.

BlackRock is now combining its fundamental active equity and scientific active equity (SAE) groups “so that our investors can more effectively draw on both the data sciences of our SAE franchise and the depth of research in our fundamental franchise to deliver alpha for our clients”.

None of the changes in any part of the overall reorganisation entail portfolio manager changes. The new structure takes place from February 1.

Part of the aim of combining the equities strategies, and also of globalising its fixed income business, is to “create more opportunities for collaboration across strategies and regions”.

However, there will still be a regional equities focus and in a move to strengthen its regional active investments leadership, Charles Prideaux will become head of active investments in Europe, Middle East and Africa; Justin Arter, currently country head of Australia, will relocate to London in April to lead institutional client business in the UK, Middle East and Africa; and Peter Nielsen will continue as head of the continental European institutional business in addition to his role as country manager for the Netherlands and the Nordic region.

“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,” a memo form Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive, and Rob Kapito, president, said yesterday.

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