Adopting New Structure, BlackRock Appoints Regional Chiefs and Other Key Executives

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BlackRock is adopting the region-based organization model used by most large financial institutions, appointing several key executives within a new structure that reflects the integration of Barclays Global Investors businesses acquired last December. The new lines of authority could influence future hiring and promotion decisions throughout the BlackRock organization.

The world's largest buy-side firm created regional units for the Americas, Asia- Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), according to an internal memo cited by Bloomberg News. BlackRock President Rob Kapito heads an operating committee that will overee the Americas. Newly named regional leaders are James Charrington for EMEA and Rohit Bhagat for the Asia Pacific. Charrington was head of international retail and Bhagat was global chief operating officer of BGI before it became part of BlackRock, according to a separate story in Pensions & Investments.

"We are strengthening the role of regional and country heads to create additional focus on each of these markets," the BlackRock memo states.

Kushel Becomes Head of Portfolio Management, Hallac Sole COO

At the same time, the firm says it's maintaining its current division into portfolio management, operations and global client groups.

The memo also named Rich Kushel as company-wide head of portfolio management, a newly created position, and Charles Hallac as chief operating officer. Kushel was head of BlackRock's international businesses and Hallac was co-COO. The other co-COO, Sue Wagner, was named to a five-member executive team led by CEO Laurence Fink and Kapito.

Elaborating on the reorganization, Bloomberg says:

The Dec. 1 purchase of BGI more than doubled New York-based BlackRock's assets to $3.4 trillion, adding index and exchange- traded funds to the firm's mix of actively managed stock, bond and money-market products. The new structure addresses BlackRock's bigger presence around the world, as well as its expansion into products it previously didn't manage.

The latest executive re-shuffling follows the appointment last week of Mike Latham as global head of the iShares ETF unit, a key business that was part of BGI, replacing Rory Tobin who left the company.

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