Bloomberg News

BlackRock Hires Keeley to Oversee Sovereign Fund Investors

June 13, 2011

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, hired Terrence Keeley to head a unit overseeing relations with sovereign funds and central banks as it seeks to double assets with such clients.

Keeley will also help expand the BlackRock Investment Institute, which started earlier this year to provide clients with investment analysis, executives at the New York-based company said today in an interview. Keeley will report to Robert Fairbairn, the head of BlackRock’s client group, and Lee Kempler, executive director of the investment institute.

BlackRock, which manages $3.65 trillion in assets, oversees $235 billion in investments for sovereign wealth funds, central banks and government agencies around the world. Through its BlackRock Solutions unit, the firm has helped governments including the U.S., Germany, U.K. and Switzerland evaluate hard- to-value debt portfolios since 2008. In January, BlackRock was picked by Ireland’s central bank to value loans as it sought to resolve the sovereign debt crisis in the region.

“We are very natural partners for such clients both in terms of traditional asset management, and also some of the broader offerings such as the advice-driven work we’ve done for the Fed,” Fairbairn said.

Sovereign wealth funds worldwide have about $20 trillion in assets and are among the fastest-growing investor segments, Keeley said in an interview. BlackRock’s goal is to get at least a 2 percent market share, which will roughly double assets the firm manages for such investors, he said.

“We are resolutely on a growth plan, and that’s a logical market share,” Keeley said.

Former UBS Director

Keeley, 52, was the founder and senior managing principal of Sovereign Trends LLC, a New York-based advisory firm. From 1988 to 2010, he worked at UBS AG in the investment banking and asset-management groups. Keeley was a managing director at UBS when the Zurich-based investment bank hired BlackRock to analyze a $22 billion debt portfolio that it later sold to the firm.

Keeley, who will help shape investment insights and analysis at the BlackRock institute, earlier in his career worked for David Stockman, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s budget director. Keeley, who has a doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford, has been a contributing editor to Bloomberg Television. BlackRock in April hired McKinsey & Co.’s Kempler to start its investment institute.

BlackRock was co-founded in 1988 by Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, who has since built the firm through acquisitions including the December 2009 purchase of Barclays Global Investors. The $15.2 billion deal added passive funds such as ETFs to BlackRock’s active stock and bond strategies.

--Editors: Steven Crabill, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Sree Bhaktavatsalam in Boston at sbhaktavatsa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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