BlackRock's Fisher stepping down as fixed income chief

Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:12pm EST

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(Reuters) - BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, said on Thursday that Peter Fisher was stepping down as head of fixed income at the New York-based firm.

Fisher, who joined BlackRock in 2004 after serving at the U.S. Treasury as under secretary for domestic finance, will become a senior director at the BlackRock Investment Institute, which produces research for investors.

BlackRock Chief Executive Laurence Fink said Fisher, 56, had completed a multi-year turnaround to improve performance at the firm's vast bond division.

"Fixed income performance today is again among the best in the industry," Fink said in an email to BlackRock employees.

Instead of replacing Fisher, Fink said the firm will rely on four executives who reported to Fisher.

Rick Rieder, who was chief investment officer for Fundamental Fixed Income, and Kevin Holt, who had managed some bond accounts, will become co-heads of Americas Fixed Income. Tim Webb will continue to oversee fixed income in other regions. And Peter Hayes remains as head of tax-exempt fixed income.

The moves follow Tuesday's announcement that Morgan Stanley banker and long-time financial advisor Gary Shedlin will join BlackRock next month to succeed Ann Marie Petach as chief financial officer.

The firm's stock has been on a role of late, gaining 32 percent over the past three months. BlackRock shares hit an all-time high of $245.65 on Thursday before closing at $245.57, up $3.05, or 1.3 percent, on the day.

Investors have been pouring into BlackRock stock and bond funds, especially its iShares lines of exchange-traded funds, helping push its adjusted profit margin over 40 percent.

BlackRock oversaw $656 billion in actively managed fixed income assets, $410 billion in indexed fixed income and another $193 billion at the iShares ETF unit at the end of 2012, part of the firm's total assets of $3.8 trillion.

(Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Gary Hill, Leslie Gevirtz and Bob Burgdorfer)

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