BlackRock Asian equities specialist to depart firm

Andrew Swan, Managing Director and Head of Asian Equities for the Fundamental Equity division of BlackRock’s Alpha Strategies Group has been reported to be departing his role at the firm.

Swan was in the role for over 3 years, and is said to be departing the role as he is relocating back to Australia, where he initially began his career with JPMorgan. Swan joined JPMorgan in 1994 as a research analyst.

Swan joined BlackRock in August 2011, relocating to Hong Kong and being appointed as Managing Director and Head of Asian Fundamental Equities; he was in this role for nearly 6 years, being promoted in March 2017.

He will be replaced by Gordon Fraser and Stephen Andrews, who will be made Co-Heads of Global Emerging Markets (GEM) equities, according to an article by Investment Week. Sam Vecht will reportedly also become Head of Emerging Europe, Frontiers and Alternative Strategies.

Fraser, Andrews and Vecht will all be reporting to Belinda Boa, CIO of BlackRock’s GEM.

Darius McDermott, Managing Director, Chelsea Financial Services, said the loss of Swan was “a blow to the business,” and that “his macroeconomic input especially has been superb over the years.”

“However, he has built a very strong team, and nothing else is changing - the investment processes, etc. remain the same. I'm sure Gordon Fraser and Stephen Andrews, the new co-heads of the investment team, will be able to step into his shoes successfully,” said McDermott.

A BlackRock spokesperson said “While Andrew's departure is certainly a loss to the platform, we have taken the necessary steps to prepare for succession and are well-prepared for this transition. The team has been developing leaders at several levels and will use this opportunity to give them additional responsibility. There will be no changes to the investment process.”

“We have full confidence that the strong bench of talent with the Global Emerging Markets team will continue to deliver the investment solutions and performance our clients seek - and will continue to invest in growing the depth and breadth of our capabilities in emerging market equities,” continued the spokesperson.