BlackRock Alternative Investors to get new co-head in shake-up

BlackRock (BLK) is “taking the next step in the evolution” of BlackRock Alternative Investors by shaking up the roles of senior executives, according to Robert S. Kapito, president, and Charles S. Hallac, senior managing director and chief operating officer.

Messrs. Kapito and Hallac made their comments in a March 22 internal memo that was obtained by Pensions & Investments.

Andrew Stewart will join BlackRock in June as managing director and co-head of BAI. He will focus on the operations and strategic development of the alternatives unit, which includes hedge fund, hedge funds of funds, real estate, special opportunities, infrastructure and private equity funds of funds, the memo said.

Mr. Stewart was managing director and head of liquid alternatives at Credit Suisse Asset Management. Katherine Herring, a CSAM spokeswoman, declined to comment on Mr. Stewart's departure or replacement there.

Matthew Botein, managing director and BAI's current head, will become co-head of the unit and add chief investment officer to his title as he transfers his responsibilities exclusively to investment performance oversight of all of the division's investment teams and strategies.

The roles of existing portfolio managers and client relationship managers will not change, according to the memo.

Separately, BlackRock will focus on private equity funds of funds and will get out of the direct private equity business. Nathan Thorne, George Bitar and Mandy Puri will leave BlackRock, confirmed Brian Beades, a BlackRock spokesman, in an e-mail.

“In private equity, our clients are increasingly asking us for indirect and co-investment strategies that are delivered through our funds-of-funds business which has enjoyed strong momentum, doubling in size last year to $15 billion in commitments,” Mr. Beades wrote.

BlackRock managed a total of $3.279 trillion as of Dec. 31. Mr. Beades did not provide the size of BAI's portfolio by press time.