Mr. Fink said MLIM's European and Japanese operations were a major attraction to doing the deal. He said BlackRock also gains a strong identity in domestic retail markets and a significant mutual fund presence.
He pointed to the roughly 10,000 different selling agreements that MLIM has with various distributors in Europe, such as banks and insurance companies, which has helped MLIM to grow its base of European equity assets over the last year. "On top of that, add our fixed-income capabilities and it's really a compelling story," said Mr. Fink.
BlackRock had been building its international business before the Merrill Lynch deal, recently opening offices in London and Munich. BlackRock managed roughly $101 billion in assets for non-U.S. clients at the end of 2005, a 37% increase from the previous year, according to the firm. Assets from U.S. clients were $352 billion at the end of 2005, up 32% over the previous year.
The inclusion of MLIM will add $206 billion to BlackRock's non-U.S. client base and $333 billion to its U.S. client base.
Even though BlackRock's new non-U.S. client assets grew at a faster rate than U.S. assets, Mr. Fink said he believes that the rate of growth could have been greater.
Robert Doll, MLIM's current president and chief investment officer, said in an interview that pairing the two firms in European and Asian markets will help the new BlackRock generate new business as a much more rapid rate.
"It's a very simple, tangible revenue synergy that would have taken us a while to build as we get our fixed-income act together, or would have taken them a while to build as they get their distribution act more broadly applied," said Mr. Doll, who will become the vice chairman, CIO of global equities and chairman of the private client operating committee for the new BlackRock.
To make the marriage succeed on a global level, some say the new BlackRock must focus on maintaining its culture while also making sure that culture is understood and shared by all of its regional operations.
"A lot of money managers have had difficulty with true global expansion over the years because they have failed to create the proper connection between their various international parts," said David Eager, partner at strategic consulting firm Eager & Davis LLC, Louisville, Ky. "Americans are perceived as innovators in investment management, but it can still be a challenge to translate domestic success into success overseas without the proper linkage."