BlackRock shakes up its leadership again, raising geographical reporting lines and promoting a new group of leaders to lead its "options" business – one of the hottest areas on Wall Street.
The world's largest fund manager has elevated Edwin Conway to operate BlackRock Alternatives Investments, according to a Tuesday member seen by Financial Times . Conway, who previously led the fund manager's institutional customer group, will be charged with building up the increasingly popular option – mainly hedge funds and private equity portfolios ̵[ads1]1; which have promoted fierce competition between fund managers due to the large fees on offer.
The news comes one day after BlackRock announced it raised $ 2.75 billion to a private equity fund that initially hoped to get $ 12 billion. Last year, the company also bought eFront, an alternative investment technology, for $ 1.3 billion.
The movement sets Conway as a possible competitor to succeed Larry Fink, BlackRock's CEO. Another candidate, Mark Wiseman, will maintain his role as head of the alternative unit.
In January, Fink appointed Mark Wiedman, the former head of his scattered iShares business with low-cost exchange, to international and corporate strategic leader.
BlackRock also announced a number of changes to its client-facing roles. Mark McCombe will take on a new role as Chief Client Officer, overseeing client companies in the US and Canada, according to the note.
Richie Prager, a trading and liquidity strategy, will retire in July. Managers who reported to Prager will now report to Rob Kapito, President of BlackRock, the note mentioned.
BlackRock stated that the changes were needed to tackle the challenges the investment management industry is facing as a pressure on cheap products, pushing revenues.  "These trends represent the greatest opportunity in a decade to distinguish BlackRock – but only if we are willing to be brave and decisive," the note said.