NEW YORK — BlackRock Inc. will retain more Merrill Lynch Investment Managers' fixed-income professionals than insiders predicted when the firms complete their merger at the end of this quarter, sources say.
MLIM's municipal bond and stable-value teams will move to BlackRock in October, the sources said, while members of the MLIM global bond, distressed debt, local currency, corporate cash and preferred stock teams will be integrated into existing BlackRock strategies.
The sources added that about 80% of the taxable bond team will likely not join BlackRock once the acquisition is complete. Also, Kevin McKenna, managing director and head of fixed income in the Americas for MLIM, resigned.
Barbara Novick, vice chairman and managing director at BlackRock, did not comment on specific changes, but said that BlackRock's approach to integrating the units "since the beginning has always been to create one fixed-income team that represents the best both firms have to offer."
"We've had the challenge of having many good people on both sides," she added. "This is not about eliminating positions, it's about creating the best single operation."
She said the combined fixed-income teams will continue to report to BlackRock's Keith Anderson, global chief investment officer of fixed income, and Scott Amero, managing director and co-head of fixed income.
From the MLIM side, portfolio managers Robert Dimella and John Loffredo will head the combined firm's municipal teams, which will have roughly $50 billion in assets after the merger.