BlackRock hires JPMorgan's Christopher Jones to head Americas equity unit

March 17 Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:23pm EDT

March 17 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, has named JPMorgan Chase & Co's Christopher Jones as chief investment officer (CIO) for stocks in the Americas, seeking to strengthen its active equity business.

Jones will head BlackRock's Fundamental Active Equity team in the Americas in a few months, according to an internal memo provided by BlackRock and sent to employees on Monday. He will replace Chris Leavy, who went on medical leave in June last year.

Jones, formerly CIO for JPMorgan Asset Management's growth and small-cap U.S. equity team, will also be the global co-head of fundamental equity, alongside Nigel Bolton, head of BlackRock's European equity team.

New York-based BlackRock Chief Executive Laurence Fink has sought to improve the unit's performance to attract assets.

"The changes we made to our U.S. Fundamental Active Equity team are paying dividends, with the four largest funds under new management all showing material performance improvement," Fink said in the company's latest earnings report.

He said since the new team joined BlackRock, which manages more than $4 trillion in assets, performance at its basic value, large-cap growth product and large-cap value product funds had improved.

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