BlackRock Reshuffles Fixed Income Team

June 17, 2008 ( - U.S. money manager BlackRock Inc. announced it has hired Curtis Arledge, a former senior executive at Wachovia Corp., as co-head of U.S. Fixed Income.

Reuters reports that the company said the move was part of a reshuffle of its fixed income team to take advantage of opportunities presented by the credit crisis. BlackRock has come out a big winner in the credit crisis, with its fixed income expertise helping it scoop up distressed assets, the news report said.

Effective July 1, Arledge will replace Andrew Phillips who will take up a new position of global chief operating officer of fixed income. Arledge was a fixed income portfolio manager with BlackRock from 1988 to 1993, and then joined Wachovia where he worked for 12 years, most recently as global head of its fixed income division.

Vice Chairman Scott Amero, who co-heads BlackRock’s global fixed income group and also is global chief investment officer of fixed income, told Reuters that Arledge will focus on the troubled non-agency asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities. “We are finding credit-related opportunities, particularly in the non-agency mortgage sector, where we’ve seen tremendous amounts of assets for sale because many organizations are deleveraging and selling assets and the capital base to buy those assets has shrunk,” Amero said.

BlackRock had $515 billion in global fixed income assets, with about two-thirds of that in the United States, and overall managed $1.36 trillion as of end-March. The firm is also managing $30 billion of illiquid assets acquired by the Federal Reserve from Bear Stearns as part of bailout efforts for the struggling investment bank earlier this year, and is managing a pool of risky mortgage assets from UBS AG, which has been set back by $37 billion in credit-related losses.

BlackRock is also focusing on international expansion and Phillips’ appointment as global chief operating officer of fixed income will help with that effort, Amero told Reuters.