November 19, 2012 / 9:26 PM / 5 years ago

BlackRock names Koesterich as top strategist

(Reuters) - BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, on Monday named Russ Koesterich as its chief investment strategist.

Koesterich has been chief strategist at the New York-based firm’s iShares exchange-traded fund unit since 2010, BlackRock said in a statement.

In the chief strategist role, Koesterich will help BlackRock make the sometimes difficult case to its customers to use a combination of actively-managed and passively-managed investment strategies. Most money managers focus largely on one side or the other, but BlackRock is more evenly split with about 56 percent, or $2.1 trillion, of its total $3.7 trillion of asset under management tied to stock and bond indexes.

“Russ is highly regarded for his insights on the global financial markets and strategies for investors to navigate the rapidly changing new world of investing,” BlackRock President Robert Kapito said in a statement.

Koesterich started in 2005 at Barclays Global Investors, which BlackRock bought from British bank Barclays Plc in 2009. Before that, he was chief North American strategist at State Street Corp.

Separately, BlackRock’s chief equity strategist Bob Doll announced he was retiring. Doll had told Reuters in June that he was leaving the firm and the three funds he managed because he wanted to take some time off and the fun was gone.

Best known as the talking head of for BlackRock’s views on the markets and for his annual market predictions list, Doll’s bullish nature and love of fundamentals did not help the performance of the three funds he oversaw, which trailed their peers in recent years.

(The story corrects that Koesterich is not replacing Bob Doll, chief equity strategist, who is retiring)

Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Bernard Orr

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