UPDATE 1-MOVES-BlackRock's registered investment adviser chief to get new role

Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:43am EDT

(Adds background on Thompson)

By Ashley Lau

Aug 15 (Reuters) - The head of BlackRock Inc's registered investment adviser business plans to leave that position early next year to take a new senior adviser role at the firm, according to an internal company memo.

Sue Thompson, who also oversees BlackRock's sales efforts with asset managers and ETF investment strategists for the company's iShares exchange-traded funds business, has asked to move into the new role starting in the first quarter of next year, according to the memo.

A company spokeswoman confirmed Thompson's move within BlackRock and said a replacement has not yet been named, but Thompson is working with other BlackRock executives on the future organizational structure of the unit.

In her new role, Thompson will continue to support the firm's RIA and ETF investment strategist clients while advising the firm on initiatives to help investors using ETFs for tactical exposures. She will continue to report to iShares Americas institutional business chief Daniel Gamba and BlackRock's U.S. wealth advisory business head, Frank Porcelli.

Thompson has played a key role in building out BlackRock's presence within the RIA channel and the ETF investment strategist community, a growing segment of the ETF market that had some $103 billion in assets through the first quarter, according to research firm Morningstar. She launched the iShares Connect Program focused on this client segment.

She has also been active in supporting women executives within BlackRock and the ETF industry, as founder and co-president for the Women in ETFs organization and as a part of BlackRock's Women's Initiative Network.

Thompson has been with the company since 2007, when she joined Barclays Global Investors, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2009. Previously a principal at Vanguard, she was head of the sales team focused on national full service brokerage firms.

BlackRock is the world's biggest money manager with nearly $4.6 trillion in assets under management. It is also the largest U.S. provider of ETFs through its iShares business, which reached $1 trillion in assets for the first time last quarter. (Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Gunna Dickson)