Andrew Dyson is leaving BlackRock Inc. because his job as head of institutional asset management was eliminated and he and company executives couldn't agree on another position.
Mr. Dyson long has been a powerful figure in the pension fund arena in Europe, playing a key role in the successful integration of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers after it was acquired by BlackRock. He also led efforts to build the European business, boosting BlackRock's influence as a leader in liability-driven investing and later fiduciary management.
He had been head of institutional business at MLIM when he joined BlackRock in 2006. Before joining Merrill Lynch, he had been with Mercer, serving as head of U.S. multinational investment consulting in New York and, previously, head of the U.K. investment consulting practice in London.
The Merrill deal was a key building block in BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink's efforts to expand his company. BlackRock became the world's largest money manager when it acquired Barclays Global Investors last December.
Mr. Dyson's resignation surprised people with whom he worked in the U.K. before moving to San Francisco last December. He since has moved back to London. Mr. Dyson does not yet have another job lined up in London, sources said.
Mr Dyson declined to comment, referring all questions to BlackRock spokeswoman Bobbie Collins. But several sources in Europe said Mr. Fink needed to make structural changes following a flood of institutional outflows this year. Michael O'Brien, former head of institutional business for Europe, Middle East and Africa, left in June and later joined J.P. Morgan Asset Management as managing director and global head of institutional client group.
Through the second quarter of 2010, BlackRock had experienced seven consecutive quarters of net outflows, reaching $30.4 billion alone in the quarter ended June 30. In the third quarter, however, the company experienced a rebound, reporting net inflows of $15.6 billion. The third-quarter inflows were attributed primarily to its passive strategies, with the active equity and bond offerings still experiencing outflows.
Ms. Collins said Mr. Dyson's resignation resulted from a reorganization. “Andrew ultimately decided to pursue other opportunities outside of BlackRock,” she said.
Ms. Collins said the reorganization stemmed from a review of BlackRock's operations that began before BlackRock acquired BGI last December. She said it was determined several months ago, following completion of the review, that portfolio teams in BlackRock's four worldwide regions would operate with autonomy.
“It was a streamlined approach,” she said. “It was felt it would benefit our institutional clients because business decisions would be made within the regions,” she said.
Mr. Dyson supervised the portfolio personnel in the four regions.
One BlackRock official, who requested anonymity, described it this way: “He was left without a paddle. The power went to the regions.”
Ms. Collins said Mr. Dyson is still continuing in his position from London. “He is ensuring a smooth transition of his responsibilities,” Ms. Collins said.
She said no final date has been site for Mr. Dyson to leave the company.
Thao Hua contributed to this story.