Blake Grossman, a BlackRock vice chairman, will leave the firm by the end of the first quarter to “explore new opportunities beyond BlackRock,” according to an internal memo from Laurence D. Fink, chairman and CEO, obtained by P&I Daily.
Bobbie Collins, a BlackRock spokeswoman, confirmed in an interview that Mr. Grossman will leave the firm and will not be replaced as vice chairman.
Mr. Grossman joined BlackRock after its December 2009 acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, where he was CEO. He also is a member of BlackRock’s global executive and global operating committees. He will serve in an advisory role until his departure, Mr. Fink said in his memo to BlackRock employees.
Sources who asked not to be identified said Mr. Grossman’s departure long has been planned. According to Mr. Fink’s memo, Mr. Grossman has been gradually passing on various duties to other BlackRock executives over the past year, including his role as head of scientific investments.
His investment duties have been assumed by J. Richard Kushel, senior managing director and head of portfolio management, and Ken Kroner, managing director, chief investment officer and head of the scientific active equity business and global markets strategy group.
The employee memo said Mr. Grossman’s remaining responsibilities will be shifted to other members of the global executive committee in the next weeks.
“It is clear that Blake has been a critically important influence on the integration of these two great organizations,” Mr. Fink wrote in his memo. “He has been totally committed to our collective success and tireless in his work to achieve our shared vision.”
The firm’s executives also “look forward to opportunities for BlackRock to partner with him in the future,” Mr. Fink said in the memo.
Mr. Grossman could not be reached for comment. In a separate internal memo to BlackRock employees that was obtained by P&I Daily, he wrote: “One year ago, we brought together two world-class institutions to create a new leader in our industry. Today, the integration of BGI and BlackRock has been substantially achieved and the combined organization is well positioned for continued growth and success. So, after a great deal of reflection, I have decided that now is the right time for me to explore new challenges beyond BlackRock.”