After 23 years at Credit Suisse Group AG, Philip Vasan, 57, will take over as head of investments and portfolio solutions for BlackRock’s US wealth advisory unit. The hire is part of BlackRock’s efforts to develop more individual clients in light of new US legislation which is designed to protect individual client interests in retirement planning.
Mr. Vasan’s role will be to find tailor-made methods to combine actively managed mutual funds with index-tracking investments like iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs.) This will ultimately allow BlackRock to offer more types of financial products that trade in stocks, bonds and other assets.
“Clients want both active and index. Our strategy going forward is to offer advisers the range of solutions they need—and in the process create deeper and stronger relationships,” wrote Head of BlackRock’s U.S. Wealth Advisory, Salim Ramji, in an internal memo.
The new US rules were set up by the Department of Labor to better manage how the financial industry provides retirement savings advice. Known as the “fiduciary rule,” it is likely that it will benefit the large passive-investing business BlackRock offers by encouraging clients to choose less expensive financial products like ETFs.
Philip Vasan built and led Credit Suisse’s global prime-brokerage unit before he ran their US private-banking unit. According to the Wall Street Journal Mr. Vasan grew the unit which brought in about $2 billion in revenue. He also previously ran the global equity derivatives and convertibles unit at Credit Suisse and was the global head of foreign exchange there. Mr. Vasan earned a doctorate in economics at Harvard University.