September 10, 2010 / 1:32 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2-Goldman names O'Neill chair of asset management

* O‘Neill to lead division, share his investment views

* Will report to global investment management co-heads (Updates with background on unit, adds byline)

By Steve Eder

NEW YORK, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) named Jim O‘Neill, a company veteran, chairman of its asset management business.

O‘Neill, who headed global economics, commodities and strategy research, will work from London in a newly created role. His responsibilities will help direct the asset management unit and play a major role in setting global investment direction.

Goldman’s asset management arm has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, managing $802 billion as of June 30, nearly double the assets it managed in 2004. But the unit has reported outflows in recent quarters, in line with broader industry trends.

During an earnings call with analysts earlier this year, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the company is investing in and building its asset management business.

In February, Goldman announced a management shuffle atop its investment management division, which includes Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Marc Spilker, a 20-year Goldman veteran, retired and was replaced by Edward Forst as co-head of the company’s investment management division.

    Forst now co-heads the investment management division with Tim O‘Neill.

    In his new post, Jim O‘Neill will report to Forst and Tim O‘Neill.

    Jim O‘Neill is known for creating the acronym BRICs -- shorthand for emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India and China.

    He joined Goldman in 1995 as a partner. As head of global economics, commodities and strategy research, he managed the company’s economics, strategy and commodity research teams. (Reporting by Steve Eder; Editing by John Wallace and Steve Orlofsky)

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