Barbara G. Novick, vice chairwoman and a co-founder of BlackRock, will step away from her day-to-day roles as head of the firm’s public policy and investment stewardship, an employee memo obtained Wednesday by Pensions & Investments said.
Ms. Novick headed the company’s business development, marketing and client service operations for more than 20 years from the time of the firm’s founding in 1988.
Ms. Novick’s work “heading the global client group for our first two decades not only established BlackRock’s reputation for our deep commitment to clients, it raised the bar for client service across the industry,” said Chairman and CEO Laurence D. “Larry” Fink and President Robert S. Kapito in the memo to BlackRock employees.
Messrs. Fink and Kapito also are BlackRock co-founders.
In 2009, Ms. Novick was given responsibility by the firm’s board for setting up a government relations and public policy effort and she shifted her focus to Washington.
In an interview with P&I at the time, she said: “Because BlackRock was often being mentioned by congressmen in hearings, it was becoming obvious that we were getting big enough to require a Washington presence.” She added that because Congress and regulators were considering many regulatory changes that could significantly impact the firm, “we realized that we have to be there with our feet on the ground.”
Messrs. Fink and Kapito said in the memo that Ms. Novick’s appointment to head the public policy group was “a pivotal moment for the firm,” noting that “Barbara not only helped enhance our reputation at this critical juncture, she also served as a voice for investors, advocating for reforms that would enhance the integrity sand efficiency of the capital markets and protect investors of all types.”
Ms. Novick was not available Wednesday for an interview.
She will remain in her current public policy and investment stewardship positions while she assists in the search for her replacements, the employee memo said.
After a transition period, Ms. Novick will then serve as a senior adviser to BlackRock.
“Barbara is one of the most extraordinary people we know and her impact on BlackRock’s success cannot be overstated. BlackRock would not be what it is today without her,” Messrs. Fink and Kapito said in the memo.
BlackRock spokeswoman Melissa Garville said Ms. Novick’s replacement as vice chairwoman has not been named.
BlackRock managed $7.4 trillion as of Dec. 31.