BlackRock fixed-income chief Fisher moving to research

After unit's restructuring, Rieder and Holt to take over

Feb 15, 2013 @ 9:57 am

Peter Fisher, head of fixed income at BlackRock Inc., will leave his post to join the company's group that provides market research and analysis, according to a memo sent to employees.

Fisher, 56, will become senior director of the BlackRock Investment Institute following the completion last year of a restructuring of the bond team. Rick Rieder and Kevin Holt will become co-heads of Americas fixed income, according to the memo.

BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, has worked to improve the performance of its actively-managed bond funds as deposits trailed those of index-based investments. Fisher last year led a reorganization of the bond division, giving unit heads like Reider and Holt greater autonomy and accountability. BlackRock's Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink has also overhauled the firm's active stock-fund unit to improve performance and reverse redemptions.

“As a natural extension of last year's realignment, we are structuring fixed income to allow our lead investors to spend as much time as possible focused on investing,” Fink said in the memo. “There will be no change to the way any portfolios are managed or any impact on our clients.”

Rieder, Holt

Rieder will continue as chief investment officer of fundamental fixed income, while Holt will take on the business-management duties for the Americas bond division. Tim Webb will continue as head of fixed-income for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Peter Hayes will continue to run tax-exempt strategies such as municipal bonds and will report to Holt. Rieder, Holt and Webb report to Quintin Price, who heads BlackRock's so-called Alpha Strategies unit, according to the memo.

BlackRock had net deposits of $892 million in its active bond funds last year as investors poured $29 billion into passive fixed-income exchange-traded funds, the firm said in its fourth-quarter earnings release.

Fisher, who didn't manage any investments at BlackRock, is a former Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, and before that spent 16 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He joined BlackRock in 2004.

“Peter's move fulfills the desire he has had for some time to take on a role that allows him more freedom from day-to-day management and expand on his role working with investors and clients more broadly across the firm,” Fink said in the memo.

BlackRock topped the ranks of asset managers through a series of acquisitions, culminating in the December 2009 purchase of Barclays Global Investors. It had about $3.79 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31.

-- Bloomberg News --

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