While the article is correct in stating that our joint venture, NBAM, was dissolved following our merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the article ("Nomura BlackRock union crumbles: First U.S-Japanese venture dies over brokerage conflict") is grossly misleading and incorrect.
First, the joint venture was not dissolved because of a "brokerage conflict" between Merrill Lynch & Co. and Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., as the article states. In fact, that had nothing do to with the decision. Following BlackRock's merger with MLIM, we gained a larger, more direct, presence in Japan. In order to avoid confusion and overlap in that market, BlackRock and Nomura Asset Management together concluded that it made sense for BlackRock to acquire NAM's interest in NBAM and consolidate that business with the broader BlackRock business in Japan.
Second, the NBAM partnership was the first joint venture between a Japanese and a U.S. investment management firm and it enjoyed tremendous success since its inception in 1999. But it certainly did not "crumble" as your headline implies. There was a mutual understanding between the two companies resulting in an amicable end to the joint venture. Implying otherwise is unequivocally wrong.
Nomura Asset Management and BlackRock continue to work together on a number of different initiatives. We had worked together for several years before creating NBAM and will continue to do so in the future. BlackRock and the Nomura Group companies remain very important partners to one another.
Laurence D. Fink
chairman and chief executive officer