BlackRock’s Larry Fink making leadership changes

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BlackRock plans to make a slew of leadership changes across divisions and create a new unit, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday, at a time when the asset manager resists pressure to remove its Chief Executive Larry Fink.

With Fink at the helm, the world’s largest asset manager has constantly drawn criticism over its environmental social and governance (ESG) policies and sustainability-linked practices.

Gary Shedlin, Mark McCombe and Rob Fairbairn will step down as vice chairmen from BlackRock’s global executive committee, but will continue to be key advisers, according to the memo.

The company said in October that its Chief Financial Officer Shedlin will step down on or around March 1 after BlackRock completes its reporting processes for fiscal 2022. 

Among other changes at the asset manager, reported earlier on Wednesday by Bloomberg News, Sandy Boss was named as the chief operating officer of BlackRock’s global client business.

The company is also planning to build BlackRock Global Markets, a new unit to oversee trading, lending and financing. The company’s former human resources head Manish Mehta will manage the unit.

Joud Abdel Majeid will succeed Sandy Boss as global head of investment stewardship and also join the GEC, while Caroline Heller will succeed Mehta.

Armando Senra will become head of the Americas institutional business and will oversee Canada and Latin America, while Dominik Rohe succeeds Senra as head of the Americas iShares and index business.

The moves, effective Feb. 1, will “promote BlackRock’s next generation of leaders,” the memo said, amid mounting pressure about Fink’s succession plans from activist investors.

Last week, North Carolina’s state treasurer Dale Folwell and hedge fund Bluebell Capital Partners called for Fink’s departure.

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