BlackRock Inc.'s Asia-Pacific operations are poised to make a more significant contribution to the money management giant's overall business in coming years, the firm's new regional head says.
Ryan Stork, formerly the New York-based head of BlackRock's global Aladdin risk-management business, relocated to Hong Kong in August to replace Mark McCombe as the firm's head of Asia-Pacific. Mr. McCombe, in turn, moved to New York as global head of BlackRock's institutional client business.
Asked in an Oct. 15 interview how he would be judged in overseeing a $400 billion investment business that's accounted for 9% to 10% of BlackRock's revenue over the past three years, Mr. Stork said “over time, if we're not 15%-plus of the firm's revenues, I'll be really disappointed.”
Reaching that target is predicated on BlackRock's continued buildup of investment capabilities in the region, focused on areas such as the firm's multiasset-class business and alternatives, as well as the continued growth of its iShares exchange-traded funds franchise.
“I think you'll see us make further commitments with respect to expanding our investment capabilities, as well as our resources, around the region,” he said.
Gains in local manufacturing have underpinned “a very good year this year” for BlackRock's institutional and retail businesses alike, said Mr. Stork.
By way of example, he cited the three-year track record reached in 2014 by BlackRock's Asian fundamental equities team, headed by Andrew Swan, as “helping drive sales” in both the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe.
On Oct. 6, BlackRock announced it had hired Edward Bang, who had led UBS Global Asset Management's multiasset-class business in the region, as BlackRock's head of multiasset strategies, Asia-Pacific, to provide further momentum for what the firm considers a top business opportunity in the region, said Mr. Stork.
On the alternatives side, Mr. Stork said the firm's quantitative “scientific” equity teams are doing more in the long-short space, and its fundamental equity team is likely to follow suit. Credit is another area where BlackRock will be looking to expand its capabilities in the region.
Longer term, building an infrastructure investment capability in Asia is something “we're very interested in,” said Mr. Stork, noting that when he and BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink toured the region in late August to meet clients, “infrastructure came up in just about every conversation we had.”