BlackRock Juggles Research Function; Hiring Across Country

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The blogesphere is a twitter with reports that BlackRock is scouring the country looking for selective candidates in light of fairly decent second quarter results. Not surprisingly, they're focusing on New York and San Francisco, with some spotty hiring across the country in Houston, Wilmington, Delaware, and locations in New Jersey. Quants, developers and software engineers are still the top in demand at BlackRock, with market intelligence and data analytics personnel, especially on the fixed income side, also in need.

While other financial firms are struggling through some painful second quarter numbers, Blackrock recently announced a 16 percent year-over-year growth in revenue and a 19 percent jump in operating income. Assets under management ended the quarter at a whopping $3.659 trillion-an increase of 16 percent year-over-year. The bulk of new business came from long term products, so expect hiring on this end as well.

There may also be opportunities in the research area following news that Deborah Fuhr, global head of ETF research and implementation strategy at BlackRock and a managing director there, was leaving the position.

BlackRock had previously announced that former McKinsey director of knowledge, Lee Kempler, was assuming the helm of its new BlackRock Investment Institute, with a push toward bringing together research across its platforms. The institute is taking over the ETF research function. Kempler holds the titles of managing director and executive director.

BlackRock also announced Ewen Cameron Watt would become chief investment strategist for the institute, but that he would hold on to certain portfolio management responsibilities in BlackRock's multi-asset client solutions group. He also chairs the firm's central strategy group.

As the asset manager focuses its efforts "on the synthesis of ideas generated across the firm's investment platform", what changes could be ahead for those holding similar leadership posts as Fuhr's?

Given the restructuring and dual roles appearing, it's certainly possible that other BlackRock research chiefs across the organization might consider it wise to jump ship as consolidation of the function could make their leadership role a lot more complicated.

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