Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock Investment Management have finalised their post-merger executive structure in Australia, with long-standing BlackRock chief executive Maurice O’Shannassy deciding to call it a day.

O’Shannassy, who has been at the helm of BlackRock and its predecessor firms Merrill Lynch and Mercury Asset Management for 13 years, will leave after the merger is completed officially on December 1.

The chief executive role will be filled by BGI’s recently promoted boss, Will Britten (formerly head of institutional business), while BlackRock’s head of distribution, Damien Frawley, has been promoted to the new role of deputy chief executive. Frawley is also head of the global client group (account management) in Australia.

The BlackRock Melbourne-based quant team, under Ken Leow, will report to Sydney-based Morry Waked, BGI’s co-global chief investment officer.

Frawley said that there would probably be a degree of rationalisation of the product line-up in time, although this would likely be mainly in the retail sector.

“There’s room for both styles of management – fundamental (BlackRock) and quant (BGI) – to run side by side,” he said.

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