Peter R. Fisher, who was co-head of BlackRock's fixed-income business with Scott Amero, today was named sole head of a revamped fixed-income executive team following the company's internal announcement that Mr. Amero will retire by the end of 2010.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Amero said the leadership transition to Mr. Fisher was effective immediately, even though Mr. Amero will retain his portfolio management duties through the end of March and assume an advisory role for the remainder of the year.
Mr. Fisher, previously a managing director, was also promoted to vice chairman.
There will be no direct replacement for Mr. Amero's role as global chief investment officer for fixed income. Instead, six executives reporting directly to Mr. Fisher will oversee BlackRock's fixed-income portfolios:
Curtis Arledge, managing director and co-head of U.S. fixed income, was named CIO of fixed income, fundamental portfolios, as well as head of multisector and mortgages;
Rick M. Rieder, managing director and head of fixed-income alternatives, was named deputy CIO of fixed income, fundamental portfolios, as well as head of corporate credit;
Scott Thiel, managing director and head of European fixed income, was named deputy CIO of fixed income, fundamental portfolios, as well as head of European and non-U.S. fixed income;
Kevin Holt will continue as managing director and head of financial institutions; Peter Hayes will remain managing director and head of municipal bonds; and Peter Knez will continue as managing director, CIO of fixed income, index and model-based portfolios, as well as head of index and model-based fixed income.
In addition, BlackRock announced three “cross-functional” leadership posts. Richard Prager, managing director and global head of fixed-income trading, was named head of trading for fixed income, with a primary mission of unifying the legacy BlackRock and BGI trading systems on a single platform; Andrew J. Phillips, managing director and global chief operating officer, named as chief performance officer for fixed income; and Marie Chandoha, managing director and global head of fixed-income business, named as head of business and product strategy for fixed income.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Fisher said the new cross-functional roles were recognition of “the scale we've gotten to,” and BlackRock's determination to become “masters of our scale.” As far as BlackRock's expanded fixed-income operations are concerned, “we have every reason to believe we can make our scale a huge advantage,” he said.
The six investment executives and the three cross-functional executives will join Mr. Fisher on a new 10-person executive committee, overseeing BlackRock's fixed-income portfolio management.
In his separate interview, Mr. Amero said he was simply “ready for a break” after years of working “24/7,” culminating in a satisfying recovery last year from a difficult 2008. Mr. Amero said he's likely to focus on outside interests for the next nine to 12 months before considering what to do next.