Rothenberg Leaving BGI Transition Management Team

June 26, 2003 ( - David Rothenberg, who ran Barclays Global Investors' (BGI) transition management businesses, is leaving the firm.

Rothenberg is stepping down from his managing director post as of this Friday. The decision is one he made for personal reasons, deciding to relocate his family from its current San Francisco home back to New York, a BGI spokesman told

With the talk of Rothenberg’s departure spread the rumor that perhaps BGI would be getting out of the third-party transition management business, or even terminating its U.S. broker-dealer operation. But the BGI spokesman said this is not the case.

“We will continue business as usual as we have done in the past of being selective on what third-party transitions makes sense from a profitability perspective,” the spokesman said. “We have always been selective about the business we take on and will continue make good business decisions.”

BGI is apparently going to let the dust settle on the latest move, as the spokesman did not yet know of plans to replace Rothenberg, saying only that BGI “has a good team in place.”

These are heady times for the transition management business, which has continued to thrive even in the bear market, and continues to attract new players. There is also an expectation that this third quarter will see an increase in transitions, as plan sponsors act on asset allocation changes that they have held off on these past six months.

Transition managers include a handful of investment banks – most notably Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank – as well as the likes of SSGA and Frank Russell Securities, plus a group of the leading custodial banks. BGI has traditionally been a strong competitor in the space, mostly on the back of its index business, which allowed it to stress its crossing abilities. How Rothenberg’s departure will affect its capabilities remains to be seen.(See (k)Plans: Smooth Moves ).